HIGH POINT, N.C. (AP) — Tubby Smith has announced he is stepping down as head coach of the High Point University men’s basketball team.

Smith, who once won a national championship while coaching at Kentucky, will be replaced by his son and current associate head coach G.G. Smith for the remainder of this season and next season.

High Point said in a release that Smith feels after contracting COVID-19 for a second time in less than a year and having been away from the program for an extended period that the timing is right for this change. Smith will remain at High Point to assist with alumni, community engagement, fundraising for athletics and other university priorities.

“I feel blessed to have had an amazing career leading, coaching and teaching great young men at first-class institutions,” said the 70-year-old Smith. “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.”

Smith has struggled to find success at High Point.

In four seasons, the Panthers are 45-68 with Smith at the helm, including an 11-15 mark this season. They have never won the Big South Conference title and have failed to reach the NCAA Tournament.

Before High Point, Smith served as head coach at Memphis, Texas Tech, Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tulsa, where he has complied a 642-370 record overall.

He led Kentucky to the 1998 NCAA title.

“Tubby Smith is a champion, and High Point University continues to appreciate his contributions to our campus and community,” said High Point President Dr. Nido Qubein. “As a coach, Tubby has impacted the game of basketball in measurable and meaningful ways. Tubby and his wife Donna have also created a legacy of leadership and service along their entire journey, and we are happy that will continue to grow right here at HPU.

“We are also excited for G.G. in his new role as the men’s head coach.”


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