Smith will be introduced as the Red Raiders' new head coach at 2 p.m. this afternoon, barely a week after the Gophers fired him.
His tenure was marked by ups and downs. It was Glen Mason-esque in that Minnesota had more success than it had enjoyed in recent years, and yet the program could never get over the frustrating hump. AD Norwood Teague saw untapped potential -- and unmet expectations. So he made the move. Now he is charged with a search that must not end with the next Tim Brewster.
And now Smith inherits a program that has won just four conference games combined in the past two seasons. It is arguably the hardest job in the Big 12, whereas Minnesota is certainly not the toughest job in the Big Ten. He is six years older than when he arrived here, and if folks thought the Gophers' job was his "retirement' gig, then what do we make of Texas Tech? If he does there what he did here, he will be hailed. But good luck with that, as CBS Sports' Jeff Goodman writes, echoing our sentiments:
Smith is 61 now. His staff has been criticized within coaching circles, and he's coming off a stint at Minnesota in which he won a single NCAA tourney contest in six seasons and only went to the big dance half of his tenure with the Gophers.
Texas Tech wanted to win the news conference. Congrats to Chancellor Kent Hance, president Guy Bailey and athletic director Kirby Hocutt. You just hired a high-character individual, maybe the polar opposite of Billy Clyde Gillispie. There won't be any stories of mistreatment of players with Smith at the helm.
But the Red Raiders needed someone who could get players to Lubbock and Smith isn't known for his recruiting prowess. ... Smith is a quality basketball coach, and a really, really nice man, but this wasn't the right fit. Not for Texas Tech and not for Tubby.