Tubby Smith out as Memphis men's hoops coach after 2 seasons

John Weast  Getty Images

John Weast Getty Images

Memphis finished 21-13 and fifth in the American Athletic Conference in Smith's second season.

Tubby Smith has been fired as Memphis men's basketball coach after two seasons amid dropping attendance and donations to the athletic department. Tubby Smith, looking to run a clean program and not risk NCAA violations, fired Keelon Lawson and nearly immediately, the local media declared Smith a problem for Memphis basketball.

Former NBA player and Tigers star Penny Hardaway is the leading candidate to replace Smith, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reported. "Details are to be finalized, and no further comment will be offered", a statement from the athletic department read.

Hardaway played at Memphis and with the Orlando Magic, becoming a four-time NBA All-Star playing alongside Shaquille O'Neal.

He has a career record of 597-302 with most of his success coming at Kentucky.

Memphis still owes Smith almost $10 million, thanks to three years left on his five-year contract, according to the Commercial-Appeal. The response from fans is mixed, but all of the Tiger faithful seem to agree that they just hope the basketball program can start contending for conference championships again - and soon, regardless of who the head coach is.

The 66-year-old Smith has an extensive head-coaching history with stints at Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota and Texas Tech before joining Memphis.

Hardaway has coached multiple top prospects at his current position with East High School in Memphis and as the director of Team Penny AAU program on the Nike EYBL circuit.

Latest News