High Point head coach Tubby Smith has made the decision to step down, the school announced on Wednesday. Smith, 70, has been head coach since 2018 but has been away from the team for several weeks now after contracting COVID-19 for a second time.
Smith’s son and current associate head coach, G.G. Smith, will take over head coaching duties both for the remainder of the 2021-22 season and the entirety of the 2022-23 season, per the release.
This looks to be the end of a historic coaching career for Smith, who has 642 wins as a Division I head coach across seven programs. He is one of just three coaches to take five different schools to the NCAA Tournament and won a National Championship in 1998, his first year at Kentucky.
In addition to stints at UK (1997-2007) and his alma mater, High Point (2018-22), Smith has been the head coach at Tulsa (1991-95), Georgia (1995-97), Minnesota (2007-13), Texas Tech (2013-16) and Memphis (2016-18). In total, his teams appeared in 18 NCAA Tournaments and 2 NITs, and won nine regular season titles (7x SEC and 2x MVC).
This will be the second head coaching opportunity for G.G. Smith, who went 56-98 in five seasons (2013-18) at Loyola (MD). He has been on his father’s staff at HPU since 2018 and previously coached under him at Kentucky (2000-02) and played for him at Georgia. The Panthers are currently 11-15 (5-7) and in 8th place in the Big South with four regular season games remaining.
Statement from Tubby Smith: “I feel blessed to have had an amazing career leading, coaching and teaching great young men at first-class institutions. Working at my alma mater during this stage of my career has been a dream. I’m thrilled that G.G. will be taking over as head coach. He will do a super job. Moving forward Donna and I will continue the work we have done for over two decades to support and assist the University as proud alums of HPU. HPU will always have a very special place in our hearts as we met and fell in love here at High Point. Our commitment and passion for HPU will never wane and we intend to continue be an integral part of its growth and prosperity well into the future. I always tell kids about the importance of getting an education, and that is what I got from High Point University – an education on how to make decisions, how to live and conduct myself, and how to help others.”
credit to Tim Cowie Photography/High Point Athletics for the image