March 25th, 2013 at 3:18 PM ^

Of course, if Minnesota was an elite blueblood of college basketball, no one would be shocked by the firing.  It's one thing for Michigan football to be discontent with middling success, but entirely another for Minnesota, a mid-tier college basketball program at best.


March 25th, 2013 at 5:36 PM ^

Just remember that Michigan was not (maybe even is not yet, although we're certainly on the rise) considered part of the elite blueblood of college basketball either (historically,  MSU and Indiana as far as Big Ten goes).  In fact, Minnesota's arc is not necessarily all that much different than our's.  They had their only recent success before the past few years wiped out by sanctions in the late '90's only to recently start to regain some prominance.  I don't know enough about Minnesota to know if this is a good firing but if I remember there were people who  thought Beilien was not the answer after Ohio last year (a ridiculous assertion even at the time, mostly recognized as such by the people here).

I guess, as some people have pointed out, the question is whether this is an Amaker fork for Minnesota or a Beilien fork?


March 25th, 2013 at 11:19 PM ^

I was comparing Michigan FOOTBALL to Minny basketball, since you were using the Lloyd complaints as the analogy.  Obviously, I think Michigan football has reason to have higher expectations than Minny basketball, which is why I think it was reasonable for people to think it was time for Lloyd to go, even though he had pretty good success.  Michigan football has extremely high standards; I don't think Minny basketball is at that level.

But I agree that our arcs are about the same basketball-wise.  If we had hired Tubby rather than Beilein and we had the same level of success that Minny has had, I would be upset if we fired him, both because the next coach is not likely to be much better and because it sets a horrible precedent that if you're not wildly successful, you have to be constantly looking over your shoulder.


March 25th, 2013 at 8:13 PM ^

You know who decided it was time to move on from Lloyd Carr?

Lloyd Carr.

That's an essential distinction--so essential that I'm struggling to imagine some parallel that could survive it. What is it about Tubby/Minnesota that reminds you of Lloyd Carr's retirement?


March 26th, 2013 at 10:12 AM ^

Yes clearly the football analogy was a stretch, just trying to find an example that wasn't Beilien related.

I just find it frustrating that sometimes Michigan fans fall into our own stereotype of looking down our noses at other programs.  Some of it is good natured obviously, but some of it isn't, and it's the attitude that "Minny is Minny" that is kind of annoying.

People have been saying that about our basketball program for the past two decades until Beilien finally turned it around.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:22 PM ^

Rumor going around that they already have a verbal commitment from a coach:

Nadine Babu@NadineBabu3m

Once again, it is just a rumor that a new coach has already verbally accepted, but my source has been dead on.


The Minn AD did hire Shaka Smart at VCU, but I doubt they can pull him there.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:26 PM ^

They should throw a dump truck of money at FGCU's Andy Enfield (who's a millionare, unfortunately for them) and see if he bites

They should also target La Salle and Wichita State's coaches.

Indiana Blue

March 25th, 2013 at 1:26 PM ^

FLASH  -  Minnesota it's time to face the facts.  You have been and will be an also ran in football and basketball NO MATTER who your coach is.   Accept ANY coach that gives you a winning record and a chance to play in a bowl or basketball tourney.   You do NOT have and likely NEVER will have the athletes to compete year in and year out in the B!G  .... dumb asses.

Go Blue! 


March 25th, 2013 at 1:30 PM ^

This is crazy to me. UCLA fires their coach after a conference championship and multiple final fours and now Minny fires tubby after a tourney win. This seems really stupid to me.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:40 PM ^

I don't get the prevailing mentality on this site that this is a bad idea. 

Honestly, I agree with it. Look, Minnesota has every right to shoot for the most competitive coach that they can get. Minny has been nothing but mediocre under this guy - they had too much talent to taper off the way that they did.

As the Big 10 slowly turns into the SEC of basketball, it's put up all those Big 10 network dollars or shut up.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

I agree strongly with this point. 

No,  Minnesota isn't the most successful program around, but having an attitude that they're "Minnesota" and they should "accept being Minnesota" is awful. That won't get you anywhere and I would never want to be a fan of a program with an attitude like that.

They were mediocre under Tubby and they felt with the talent coming out of the state that they could do better. Good for them. 

Whether or not they will find a coach better than Tubby Smith I don't know, but I don't buy into the idea that they should kiss a guy's feet just because they haven't been god awful.



March 25th, 2013 at 1:39 PM ^

shocked, but not surprised. He's a really good coach who sucks at coaching. He's done great recruiting for the guys he's landed, but has completely failed with the guys he's missed on. His in game adjustments have been great when they win, but are horrible when they lose. He's either going to move up to a better school, or drop down a level.


March 25th, 2013 at 1:56 PM ^

People seem to forget that universities like Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Syracuse, Michigan State and UConn are good at college basketball.  There's no reason Minnesota can't be good at basketball too.  This arrogance has a place in college football, but it simply doesn't work in college basketball.  Find a good coach, and you're the next Gonzaga, Arizona, etc..


March 25th, 2013 at 2:04 PM ^

The Gopher athletic department sets themselves up as the most delusional in all the nation.

I mean, they just got their own stadium in football a couple of years ago, and their basketball arena doesn't look like it's been updated since they built it.  If those things can hurt a Michigan, it's game over for a program like that. Not the coach.

Same as always- if you have someone better to replace the guy you're getting rid of, great. If not, you're taking a crapshoot with your program. 

True Blue Grit

March 25th, 2013 at 2:08 PM ^

much of the time, despite having a few very good wins.  But I agree the move is kind of dumb unless they have a good, up and coming coach lined up already.  No one else is going to take the job given the lousy facilities and so-so record of the program over the least 15 years.  


March 25th, 2013 at 2:08 PM ^

I don't get the "they are who they are" argument. If you're Minnesota and you're terrible why would you just accept that. Oh, we won't expect great things because we have been bad. This is a defeatist attitude and I would be pissed if I was a fan of a program with that attitude.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:16 PM ^

Dance for them now??  As it's been said, who is Minny going to upgrade with?  The barn has it's charm but it's an old, shitty building.  Up and down year but had quality wins, made the tournament and won a game.  


March 25th, 2013 at 2:20 PM ^

Jerry Kill has really raised the bar on how gopher-like a Minnesota coach can look. It's clear that Tubby just couldn't compete with that.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:27 PM ^

Wow what a STUPID move. They have NO basketball practice facility and the Barn is a piece of shit. I don't even think Tubby was a great coach, but unless they have Flip Saunders waiting in the wings, really bad move.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^

I don't understand this love of Tubby Smith. His teams have conintually gotten worse and players have either stayed still or regressed while playing for him. He continually makes terrible in game coaching decisions and has an insane substitution pattern that has cost Minnesota dearly this season.

Besides comparing this move to Mason for Brewster, why do people think this is bad? What has Tubby done in his 6 years at Minnesota to really impress people?


March 25th, 2013 at 2:28 PM ^


As much as this firing may surprise people, I think this is the best move for the Gophers. Minnesota was a good team this year. They cruised through their non-conference season, recorded some big wins in Big Ten play, and won in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament. However, they should have been a GREAT team this year. They had an insanely talented group and one of the best frontcourts in the conference and nation. I agree that the Big Ten is good this year, but it's not like Minnesota only lost to the elite teams, they did lose to Northwestern and Nebraska. They were incredibly inconsistent with an experienced team. This is not something that typically happens.

I had previously thought Tubby had done enough to survive another year, but I think the last game sealed his fate for me. Granted, 1 game should never be the "end all be all" of a coach's status, but that game was very unnerving if you wanted to keep supporting Tubby. Florida is a really good team, but Minnesota should have easily been closer in that game. They insisted on running a 2-3 zone that was not working for most of the 1st half and then kept Andre Hollins on the bench when they were leading a massive comeback on the Gators. He was in foul trouble yes, but it was obvious the offense was at a stand-still. In that type of game, you don't keep your star on the bench that long. It was a perfect example of coaching strategy dooming a team.

I do agree that this is a bad decision if Minnesota does not come away with a quality hire, but it was obvious that Tubby had hit his ceiling. The fact that he won a national championship still baffles me. He can get and develop players, but he cannot compete with the best, especially when it comes to in-game strategy and motivating his players, which he even admitted was a problem all year.


March 25th, 2013 at 2:29 PM ^

I can see both sides of this. Minnesota looks poorly organized on O, can't deal with zones and faltered down the stretch against some teams that weren't that good. You don't have the sense that after 6 years the program is really on the rise like you do with us or Indiana etc. Several major players are graduating. New AD wants to hire his guy which apparently is Shaka but I am highly skeptical that Shaka wants this job. Sometimes if you are Minnesota you don't just want to be Minnesota.


On the other hand, eh, you're Minnesota. Someone in the comments above said it is arrogant to say that. Well, MN does not have great history, the facilities suck, and you are competing with M, IU, MSU, WI, OSU etc. You've not won a conference championship in 31 years. You've only been to the NCAAs 5 times prior to Tubby being hired (excluding the years forfeited due to sanctions). This is just not a great program or a particularly compelling job. It's probably the 9th best job in a 12 team league. Winning 21 games and making the 2nd round is fairly good. You are firing a coach with 500 wins to his name who took Tulsa to 2 Sweet 16s, took freaking Georgia to the Sweet 16, won a national championship at Kentucky, has won 7 conference championships, has gone to the tourney in 17 of the last 20 years and has won 20 games 17 of the last 18 years. You may do better but more likely than not you'll do worse. Pretty big risk. They better have someone special and/or a heaping pile of cash lined up.



snarling wolverine

March 25th, 2013 at 4:57 PM ^

You are firing a coach with 500 wins to his name who took Tulsa to 2 Sweet 16s, took freaking Georgia to the Sweet 16, won a national championship at Kentucky, has won 7 conference championships,

But it's been ages since he did those things. He was at Tulsa about 20 years ago, and won the title at UK 15 years ago. Firing him is a statement that he is no longer capable of achieving the things he once did (which I think is accurate).


March 25th, 2013 at 2:40 PM ^

MGoCommenters are soft as Charmin when it comes to coaches that don't belong to them.

The consensus here was that Pitt made a great move when re-signing Dixon (huh?!) and now Tubby, who no one in this conference ever feared playing in a big game, being fired is some kind of travesty.

Old boy clubs and that status quo are better than being ambitious, I guess. What exactly was Minnesota holding onto? If Tubby was going to take them to a high level it already would have happened by now. Nothing wrong with rolling the dice.