Gophers

Tubby Smith: ‘I Still Have That Fire In My Belly’

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Tubby Smith, University Of Minnesota, Gophers, Head Coach

Head coach Tubby Smith of the Minnesota Golden Gophers. (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — One of Norwood Teague’s first tasks as Minnesota’s new athletic director will be to address the contract of men’s basketball coach Tubby Smith. Soon, Teague must devise a development strategy for the practice facility Smith has desired for the Gophers.

The relationship between Teague and Smith will be critical for the future of the program, which has struggled for a variety of reasons to sustain any success since reaching the Final Four in 1997.

Smith, for his part, was beaming about Teague’s arrival when his new boss was introduced on Monday.

Smith says he’s “fired up” about working with Teague, who comes from Virginia Commonwealth, where Smith was once an assistant coach, from 1979-86. Smith will turn 61 this year.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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