After 114 days of sitting around waiting for Maturi to make a decision with regards to the mens basketball coach, he pulls Tubby Fucking Smith out of his ass. Yeah, as in Tubby "I coached at UK for 10 years" Smith. 263 wins in those 10 years. And he lands in The Barn. Un-fucking-believable.
With Amaker out the door at Michigan and Alford leaving Iowa, the Gophers chances of grabbing anything but leftover coaching scraps were grim. I mean, if you were a coach, where would you rather go? NOT Minnesota. Even so, we land Tubby.
He signed a 7-year deal worth about $1.7 million per year. The most the U has ever spent on a football or basketball coach. And yet, for the possible effect it should have on the basketball program, it's a steal. A God damned steal. The whole state is excited about it. They sold 103 season tickets in the hour following the announcement of the rumor. A fucking RUMOR! I think they sold a total of 253 more before the press conference today. I realize that doesn't seem like a big number, but the Gophs only had two games that the attendance was over 12,000 or something like that.
Maturi is apparently good buddies with Tubby's agent, which is how the talks apparently got started - back in December! I don't think Maturi is anything other than a lucky idiot - see Kevin McHale drafting Kevin Garnett - but I'm not complaining about him falling ass backwards into one of the premier names in college basketball coaching. They won't win alot early, but you damn well know that The Barn will be hopin' this year, which will immediately add 2 wins on its own - not to mention Tubby's coaching influence and some of the new kids coming into the program next year.
It's an amazingly exciting time for the Gophers basketball program - ala that pesky Final Four that seemed to have disappeard on us. Tubby, by the numbers, is as good a coach as there is in college basketball. He came across relatively humble and down to earth in the press conference, saying all the right things - what would you expect though. He seems to be focused, like head football coach Tim Brewster, on keeping local kids and graduating kids. He plans on working with the highschool coaches on trying to get kids from Minnesota to attend the U. Plus maybe steal some kids from neighboring states. He has no black marks on his resume - unless you consider only 1 national championship a black mark - and is well regarded in the coaching ranks.
Oh, and his first name is really Orlando. He apparently got his nickname Tubby from being a bathtub hog as a kid. And he has 16 siblings.
I even looked into season tickets today, but due to my general trend of failing at life, I'm not in a financial situation to do so, but if I was, I'd be sitting lower bowl in The Barn for twenty-plus nights for the next few years.
It's going to take a couple years for Tubby to get his system installed and get some real talent recruited again here in Minnesota, but I can't tell you how great this is for Gopher basketball, it's fans, the school, the city, the state, and everyone who gives a damn about Minnesota basketball.
Now, in Minnesota, it's no longer an insult to be called Tubby. I know I'll carry that title proudly from now on!