Forget about Tubby Smith to Tech (or anybody else for now)

Tubby Smith gives a thumbs down to rumors he'll leave Miinnesota for Georgia Tech. (AP photo)

Minnesota coach Tubby Smith gives a thumbs down to rumors he'll leave the Gophers for Georgia Tech. (AP photo)

For the past several weeks, rumors have circulated about the impending availability of former Georgia and current Minnesota basketball coach Tubby Smith and how he might return to the area and take over at Georgia Tech.

I’ve ignored these rumors for two reasons: 1) I don’t think there’s any chance it will happen; 2) It doesn’t make sense to me — to say nothing of the fact it’s in poor taste and unprofessional — to write about potential candidates for a job that isn’t yet open. The fact Paul Hewitt appears to be in trouble at Tech is besides the point.

But now I’ll address the Smith rumor only because he has addressed it himself: It ain’t happening.

Here’s an excerpt from Sid Hartman’s column in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

And Smith rejected the ESPN rumor that Georgia Tech was going to buy out coach Paul Hewitt’s contract and hire Smith by saying: “Why would I be interested in that job? I’m not going anywhere. My wife likes it here, I like it here, and I’m going to finish my career here.”

That’s as emphatic as it gets. Surprising? Maybe the part about Smith and his wife not wanting to leave Minnesota. Many have speculated that Smith, after four years in the Midwest chill, wants to get back to a warmer climate.

Back to Hewitt. As I addressed Sunday, while there are strong indications that he may have coached his final game on campus, it’s unfortunate the degree of vitriol that some fans are showing toward a coach who has been nothing but dedicated and earnest during his tenure.

Can the man be arrogant and often have a chip on his shoulder when it comes to criticism? Abs0lutely. But that hardly puts him in unique company among high profile Division I basketball coaches.

If athletic director Dan Radakovich decides to make a change, it will come fairly quickly after the Jackets are eliminated in the ACC tournament. (Obviously if they go on an improbable run in Greensboro, all bets are off.) If it’s the former, there will be plenty of time to speculate on the next coach.

Until then, you can stop talking about Tubby.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

281 comments Add your comment

Hewitt Fan

March 7th, 2011
10:41 am

I hate to say I told you so! but no coach with any resume will come to GT after the way GT fans and the legend him self Mark Bradley turned their back on Hewitt!…GT fans let Mark Bradley run the best coach in GT history out of town! wow!

Hewitt Fan

March 7th, 2011
10:45 am

GT is the worst job in the ACC by far, maybe in the nation!….
1.Mike Anderson…no way
2.mike Davis..no way
3.Bobby Cremins..lol…who really wants the “IRON MAN SYSTEM” back in ATL

LizellaJacket

March 7th, 2011
10:46 am

“It doesn’t make sense to me — to say nothing of the fact it’s in poor taste and unprofessional — to write about potential candidates for a job that isn’t yet open.”

Nice shot across the bow of Mr. Mark Bradley with that line. Calling Bradley unprofessional is fightin words.

Jamaaliver

March 7th, 2011
10:46 am

GT and Georgia Tech would be very attractive to a hot young coach at a mid-major or an assistant coach looking for a chance with a big time program in a big time city.

Recruiting here is good and, when the team is good, there is a strong fanbase.

Hewitt coached himself out of town with underachieving teams, year after year. A single internet columnist had less to do with Hewitt’e disappointing tenure than hewitt himself.

LizellaJacket

March 7th, 2011
10:47 am

Hewitt Fan = Devesk

wawel78

March 7th, 2011
10:47 am

Does Tech have any chance at the NIT? I assume not but I don’t really keep up with the tournament.

5150 UOAD

March 7th, 2011
10:50 am

Jeff Schultz
can you tell JUARD that Tech Forever- Hewitt Fan- 5150 UOAD are not the same person. he is so sure we were having a conversation between ourselves yesterday. Thanks.
I don’t know that I would want Tubby. I want a Younger guy that has been winning, but was mentored by some great coaches.

GoJackets!

March 7th, 2011
10:52 am

Tubby Smith is a big name coach that could change the landscape of ACC as we know it but he’d have been too expensive to hire anyway. If it isn’t for Hewitt’s buyout it could have been possible. But $7 mil+ buyout and $2 mil+ salary for Smith is not feasible at this time. Again, the best case scenario for Tech would have been Hewitt taking St. Johns’ job last year and Tech hires Lavin. In retrospect, it would have been great for both parties. This is why I believe next coach should be a Tech man who will dedicate himself and never take the institute as hostage. As much as people say Hewitt’s a good man, he has no tie to Tech. It’s just a job. No one would leave a cushy job like this for the good of the company you’re not tied to emotionally.

ExecutiveStinger

March 7th, 2011
10:53 am

There are so many things wrong with your post HF, but I’ll just say that many negatives are stacked against Hewitt and Mark Bradley is no where on the list. He is a columnist, or an “opinionist” if you will, who shares his thoughts via one of many, many media outlets that cover GT sports. He has nothing to do with the coach staying or leaving. I turned my back on Hewitt after the Kennesaw State game. I have nothing to do with him staying or leaving. It isn’t one thing, it isn’t two. The list is longer and bigger than two people’s feelings. When Paul Hewitt isn’t coaching at GT next year, it will be because many, many people shared similar feelings about his ability to lead our program. The numbers will also speak for themselves. And Bobby Cremins would take exception to one of your comments as well. I join him.

Paul in RDU

March 7th, 2011
10:55 am

wawel
GT has a better chance at making the NCAA than the NIT. They need 4 wins in Greensboro to win the tourney – 3 wins would leave them at 16-17 and you can’t make the NIT with a losing record.

kent

March 7th, 2011
10:55 am

what GT fan would want Tubby Smith? If a change is made, I would certainly hope DRAD would consult with former players and even Cremins. GT has its own elite with stellar basketball careers that could give great input in this matter.

I will agree that Mark Bradley does his best to ruin GT in both football and basketball. He has always tried to turn the place into a 1AA school that is suppose to bow down and take a back seat to everyone else. I believe it is MB’s number one agenda

I am also wondering when it comes to the latest GT news, you find it in the Macon Telegraph first.

Paul in RDU

March 7th, 2011
10:57 am

Frank Haith doesn’t think HC at GT is the worst job in the nation

PTC DAWG

March 7th, 2011
10:57 am

I’ve never understood Bradley’s vendetta against PH. It is very unprofessional.

5150 UOAD

March 7th, 2011
10:58 am

Hewitt Fan give it a rest.
No Atlanta Celtics
It’s the REFs fault
No coach worth their salt would want to coach in the ACC
The only somebody wouldn’t want the Tech job is to pi.p the school they are at for more money or that they must be scared of Coach Williams(UNC) or Coach K(DUKE).
HEWITT FAN go have a beer and root for Hewitt to coach at a school close to you so you don’t lose your Man Crush.

GTBob

March 7th, 2011
10:58 am

Tubby Smith is a terrible idea anyways. I’m not sure why people have been pushing for it so much. He has a good resume but he isn’t the right man for the job for several reasons. I’m glad he killed the rumor.

George P. Burdell

March 7th, 2011
10:59 am

I say be extra vocal if you are a Tech fan. It appears to be the only way to get a move with Hewitt’s golden contract. I’ve lost all interest in the program, and I never thought I’d say that! (I was there for the Lethal Weapon 3!) Hewitt’s got to go, and I’ll be as vitriolic as necessary to get it to happen. Far better to take a chance on another coach than to take more years of Hewitt’s shortcomings, no matter how sincere he is.

chewyandrw

March 7th, 2011
11:01 am

You people are all so freaking ignorant and stupid. I am ashamed to be sharing a blog with such morons. Bradley ruining football and basketball programs? Seriously?!?!?! All he does is report and share his opinion. He doesnt call plays, shoot baskets, throw touchdowns, none of it. I am a huge Tech fan but take some criticism. You all are the reason that Tech fans get such a bad reputation and the reason that if I ever get in a fight at a bar, I hope its not Tech fans that have my back. You are all pathetic and extremely simple minded.

Bodybuilder Granny

March 7th, 2011
11:01 am

Hewitt Fan, you gotta be kidding me. Turning their backs on hewitt? The dude can’t coach and is getting paid mucho dinero and can’t even lead his team to win games. He has been around too long, and we are ready for a new coach, a new leader. He is a good guy, just not a good fit anymore as GT basketball coach.

nice try schultzie

March 7th, 2011
11:03 am

i see that…..

you two guys ( you n mark ) are playing the ol good cop bad cop routine. mark being the unprofessional bad cop to the phewitt fans.

so…. when are you and mark going to meet in the octagon for a grudge match?

thinking that thought brought up a funny scenerio for your bought. do you recall the scene in the last borat movie where the two guys are in the cage. ….. YOU and MARK

you need to grow them muttonchops and buy a pair of chaps for effect.

id buy a ticket for charity……………………………

GTBob

March 7th, 2011
11:08 am

Back to Hewitt. As I addressed Sunday, while there are strong indications that he may have coached his final game on campus, it’s unfortunate the degree of vitriol that some fans are showing toward a coach who has been nothing but dedicated and earnest during his tenure.

I think you are misreading Tech fans Jeff. The writing has been on the wall for a while now in respects to Hewitt. He is not going to turn our program around and everyone knows it. So to continue to watch GT basketball year in and year out and wonder if we are ever going to begin to improve is getting old and it is frustrating true GT fans. If you keep dragging it out like this has been drug out then the fans are going to get more frustrated and more vocal. It’s nothing personal against Hewitt, we are just tired of it at this point. If he was fired when he should have been then people wouldn’t be quite as hard on him.

SteveW

March 7th, 2011
11:09 am

Shumpert is probably gone after this season also. It’s kind of sad. Hewitt has rarely coached any players up, and that’s his problem.

Tech does seem kind of loaded for next season. Lot’s of experience, depth, and a very good recruit coming in. Who knows, Hewitt may stay

JSS

March 7th, 2011
11:09 am

Tech BB fans + UGA football fans + Oakland Raiders fans + Jerry Jones = Charlie Sheen after 72 hours with the goddesses… Only a paid Ph d. level medical professional might be able to figure out all of that pent up psychosis!

mark give us gt fans a break already sheeeesh

March 7th, 2011
11:15 am

what are you? phewitt’s daddy? you are certainly no saint when it comes to columns btw.

as far as phewit goes…

he deserves every bit of vitroil and than some. where have you been on mars?????????????? least you forget…. we put HIM on the map not vice versa. he has ended up being a podunk coach who should have stayed at his podunk school.

bottom line…. phewitt sunk his own ship not only with the winss vs losses but his litany of excuses. next time you read the hive there is a thread dedicated to the dozens and dozens of excuses phew has used during the years.

a few years ago before phew became so unpopular he made a comment that was reported on the ajc where he had agnrily replied that gt couldnt find a coach when they hired him and that he was the 8th or 9th prospect. oh really????? than a year or so ago he was again quoted as saying that it was the ‘fans fault’ after one of his phewittesque losses. no

Gordon

March 7th, 2011
11:15 am

I agree with Jeff about the personal attacks on Hewitt – he just doesn’t deserve it. I would much rather have him than Bruce Pearl. Having said that, I think the vast majority of Tech fans have been very patient. What is said on blogs like this one is not representative of most Tech fans. Many have just chosen to stop attending the games, and you can’t blame them for that. Remember, this has been going on for 6 years.

By the way, Jeff, your colleague wrote an entire column on potential Hewitt replacements. I guess reasonable people can disagree.

T-Bone

March 7th, 2011
11:16 am

Schultzie, Being “a coach who has been nothing but dedicated and earnest during his tenure” is not how a coach is judged. I’ll admit it. I really like PH. He represents the school well, runs a clean program, and has been a coach just as you described him. But players don’t get better during their stay here, his teams don’t progress throughout the season, he doesn’t seem to have a game plan as a coach, his teams play aimlessly, and he doesn’t win.

reebok

March 7th, 2011
11:16 am

1 and done in the ACC tourney and ‘Coach’ Hewitt will finally be put out of our misery.

icallbs

March 7th, 2011
11:20 am

Great subplot! Bradley vs. Shultz. Hmmm….was it “unprofessional” to throw your colleague under the bus, there, Jeff? It would have been one thing to reference in some way your taking an opposite stance from a colleague, but to come out in blatant opposition and refer to it as “unprofessional” with no mention of the obvious speaks of something going on there in the background. I love it. I’m also taking Bradley’s side in this one.

GT Dude

March 7th, 2011
11:20 am

Hewitt is being let go for more that his pitiful on court performances, he has alienated the fan base with his arrogant attitudes, he has even alienated the student body and the faculty. The facts are simple: Hewitt has lost too many games, lost the fans, lost the students, lost the faculty, lost the administration, and now will lose his job!!!
Only 8 more days remain of the darkness….

RAMBLE ON!!!

March 7th, 2011
11:24 am

“it’s unfortunate the degree of vitriol that some fans are showing toward a coach who has been nothing but dedicated and earnest during his tenure.”

Screw you Jeff, the guy has sunk GT BB to a level not seen since D. Morrison, and as long as he gets his 1.3 million, he doesn’t care. If he did, he would have resigned by now.

Dedicated to what?!? oh, yeah, his 1.3 million and the BCA.

He can’t coach, those aren’t personal attacks, it’s called the truth. Something you know little about.

Hewitt Fan

March 7th, 2011
11:25 am

@SteveW

lets be honest…Shumpert has improved from his freshman year..if GT had a decent record he would easily be 1st team all ACC..He might be the best guard in the conference this year

Tech Forever

March 7th, 2011
11:27 am

SWEET!!! I don’t want Tubby. Never wanted Tubby. Never will want Tubby. Good coach? He’s o.k. But why hire a proven journeyman when you don’t have to?

Tech Forever

March 7th, 2011
11:28 am

Hewitt Fan

It dones’t matter how much Shumpert has improved. He still plays in the ACC for someone other than Duke and UNC and therefore will never get the calls from the refs it takes to be truly successful.

mark give us gt fans a break already sheeeesh

March 7th, 2011
11:29 am

sorry phat fingers…

a few years ago before phew became so unpopular he made a comment that was reported on the ajc where he had agnrily replied that gt couldnt find a coach when they hired him and that he was the 8th or 9th prospect. oh really????? than a year or so ago he was again quoted as saying that it was the ‘fans fault’ after one of his phewittesque losses.

up until that point most fans were still pro hewitt. so who’s fault is that? he started it by attacking gt and itsw fans.

we got a coach who changed his priorities after his golden parachute was signed putting his own agenda over his f’n job.

AFTER CONTRACT… the wins and losses plumeted. he made gt a semi pro team by going to the individual instruction method . we all know that bb is a TEAM sport. he also hired coaches that were not up to the job. now those two things sure helped his agenda but did nothing for the program and its fans. least you forget college bb is about winning not bragging on how many of your former players play in the nba or bragging about how you have a whole bench of newbie coaches that are poster boys for the BCA.

this same coach who is quoted as saying he losses no sleep over the state of the program and the same coach who could have left for st johns and made lemonaide out of lemons.

we got the Cremins Court. i for one vote for Phewitt Urinals.

Hewitt Fan

March 7th, 2011
11:30 am

@Jeff

GT fans have a very short memory..I thought just last year GT made a nice post season run in the ACC tournament,should have won but you know the refs was not going to let that happen so they put Singiler on the line over and over, then they beat OklaSt(second in the big 12) , the Ohio State game reminded me of the second Duke game..the refs simply put our bigs on the bench with cheap fouls….But i thought all this happened last year….

GT Fan

March 7th, 2011
11:31 am

I realize that a lot of UGA fans and others use these comments to take shots at Tech, but give me a break. Anyone who doesn’t see Tech as a great coaching job is an absolute idiot. Tech is a nationally known program. Atlanta is a city that is easy to recruit top tier basketball recruits to …and Tech’s academic profile has not been a barrier …just look at history. The ACC speaks for itself. You are looking at a program steep in tradition …. with a long list of ACC Freshman of the year, ALL-ACC, and NBAers… with two final four showings in the past two decades and many years going deep into tourny ….in a top city and state for basketball talent ….in a top conference with as much or more history of national championships as any other. Head basketball coach at GT is a TOP JOB …. make no mistake about it. We will get a great coach and be back to where we should be.

StingerSplash

March 7th, 2011
11:31 am

Dedicated, earnest and overmatched.
Two out of three ain’t good.

RAMBLE ON!!!

March 7th, 2011
11:33 am

Hewitt Fan, you get open face slapped a lot don’t you boy?

“the refs, it’s the refs fault”, what a cry baby loser.

NC_GTGrad

March 7th, 2011
11:34 am

I am not a CPH fan, but as frustrating as it is watching the clogged toilet at work it could always be worse. Just ask NCSU and Wake Forest fans. If we cannot get a replacement that can actually coach up the talent of the players, then IMHO its not worth unloading him for the huge $$$ and losing key returning players and recruits. Look at Wake Forest – they are hurting right now.

CPH’s “offense” needs a good point guard and a strong slashing 2 or 3 guard to drive the lane and create shots, and that is something we’ve never really had since Will Bynum graduated.

You guys in Atlanta need to support the players. It obviously helped yesterday. Look at Indiana, they are 3-something in conference and they still support the heck out of their team.

Jeff Schultz = Mike Huckabee

March 7th, 2011
11:34 am

no further message needed.

republican = low iq

Keep Payin

March 7th, 2011
11:36 am

Jeff…the ‘vitriol’ is not directed towards Hewitt’s dedication, its directed at his win-loss record
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results

jambee3

March 7th, 2011
11:36 am

It’s all about wins and looses, not that other stuff. One winning ACC record in eleven seasons tells the tale. Let’s find someone who will do better.

Tech Forever

March 7th, 2011
11:39 am

Jeff Schultz = Mike Huckabee

That’s hilarious!!! You obviously just started reading Schultz stuff. I’[ve been reading him since his first day at the fishwrapper and believe me when I say his political leanings have shown through more than once……and it’s about as far from the right as he can get.

StingerSplash

March 7th, 2011
11:43 am

Hewitt Fan,
Mark Bradley ain’t gonna get in the way of someone wanting to coach at Tech. His treatment of Hewitt is a handshake compared to the pounding PH would have taken at St. John’s by the New York media if he had the same record there. You want a big job, you get a big job, columnists and bloggers et al scrutinizing your every move are part of the package. You accept that from the get go.
I wouldn’t say Hewitt is the best coach in Tech history. He has 0 ACC championships and one Final Four in his tenure. Bobby, no great strategist he, had 5 regular season/tournament titles and a Final Four appearance as well. Hewitt’s only been in the ACC championship game twice with all his Atlanta Celtics and others on his team.

icallbs

March 7th, 2011
11:44 am

republican = low iq…ok, let’s say no one with an iq below 110 gets to vote. I’m good with that. How many Democrats get elected? And I am NOT a Republican.

UK FAN

March 7th, 2011
11:46 am

WARNING TO GT: Hire Tubby at your own peril. Tubby is a nice guy, but he is not the guy to build your program. He took the keys of the Rolls Royce of college B-ball aka Kentucky and turned it into a honda accord 2 door with an automatic four cylinder.

In five of his ten years at the helm of UK he had double digit losses hence his nickname ten-loss-tubby.

Once Pitino’s players had all graduated he could get past the elite eight with players he recruited.

Tubby for some reason never could get along with the super-star McDs’. He is much more comfortable with a 3 star rated player who will stay at the program for four years. There were too many transfers of players under Tubby’s tenure at UK…hence the nickname Team Turmoil.

He started his son, Saul Smith at PG at the University of Kentucky. Saul was a very average point guard who was not highly rated coming out of college. At best Saul was a mid-major pg. Because of this, many top PG recruits elected to play elsewhere instead of UK.

Tubby believes in the slow down game of basketball. If you want a lot of half court, defensive oriented teams, then Tubby’s your guy.

Tubby has recently cited lack of adequate practice facilities as part of Minny’s problems..the players have to walk across the street to lift weights. Tubby never takes responsibility for what happens on the floor. It’s always somebody else’s fault.

Tubby is good at coming into a program and taking another coaches players and having a decent record. And by that I mean he’ll get you around 20 wins…but he’ll also give you around 10 losses.

In his 20 years as a head coach he has posted 10 losses or more in 11 of those years. Two more losses and that would have been 13 out of twenty.

Forget about the argument that UK fans didn’t like the guy because he’s black. Far be it from the truth. Tubby was the first guy I had in mind when Pitino left. I thought for sure with his success at mid-major schools like Tulsa and mid to bottom SEC schools like Georgia, Tubby would excel at UK…especially coming in right when UK was on a roll. Man was I wrong.

The Minny newspapers are starting to see the light on Tubby.

Go ahead and hire him GT or anybody else….but don’t pay the man his current salary. Offer him 750,000 with a lot of bonuses. make him earn the money.

You’ve been warned.

gt

March 7th, 2011
11:46 am

Is a clean coach a reason to keep a coach. Is this such an exception in college athletics that we say winning be damn we have a saint as coach and that is what we wanted when we signed the contract. If that is the bar, have at it, everything you write makes total sense except how to pay for it. We now have a church not a athletic department and preachers come a lot cheaper than good coaches. Do you see this guy winning in the future, do you think we need to give him more time. At what cost is too much time. As far as going to watch losing basketball, I have an option too. This town is not a basketball town, particularly a college basketball town. The people who support this program are generally middle class and above, look around the thinning crowd and you won’t see the same dupes you see at NBA events. You generally see husband and wives, families, old friends with a lot of common sense. When they boycott what you are selling you have offended a group that has a lot more sense than you give them credit for. For some reason this kind of crowd offends some people, may even offend Hewitt. Now that you seem to have teamed up with Hewitt maybe it offends you too. One good thing if that is the case it won’t be around much longer even in the drips and puddles you see now. You won’t have to worry about anyone objecting about this team, no one will care. Should make a lot more people happy than I realized.

Of course it's the contract

March 7th, 2011
11:47 am

PHew can be the Tech coach next year and still “coached his last game on campus”…just think about that possibility.

Connie Lingous

March 7th, 2011
11:48 am

Schults, I can’t believe you would paint your colleague Bradley as “unprofessional” – do you even read your own paper? The dude listed his slate of possible replacements last week.

Helloooooooooooooooooooo???

GTman

March 7th, 2011
11:58 am

How you can you blame the media or the fans for Hewitt’s pending departure? Doesn’t the record deserve blame (credit) for his departure. Hewitt has done okay in recruiting (hard not to recruit the superstar one and dones), but the in game coaching/execution has been terrrible the last five years. Offense – never had a flow except the first two years when they just ran up and down the court and shot on every possession within 10 seconds of crossing half court. Defense – absolutely the worst coached defense I have ever seen. In bounds play – this has been terrible since day 1 and is a simple matter of coaching. Free throw percentage – just another example of the players not developing through coaching (some just had incredible talent).

It is time for a change. As for Tubby – great if we get him okay if we don’t – but does anyone believe what a coach says regarding the next job?!! Come on! Sure, doesn’t everyone love that Minnesota weather?

Whiskey Clear

March 7th, 2011
11:59 am

Hewitt has been nothing but loyal and faithful to the program. But in the last few years, one thing has seemed to evade him. What was it? Oh yea, the most important thing in any collegiate varsity athletic program. Charlie Sheen said it best: WINNING – something that in the recent years has eluded Hewitt. That’s why he’s getting hate and there is talk about him being fired, not because he’s not a nice guy. Being nice comes 2nd to winning.