Billy Tubbs Named Lamar U. AD
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BEAUMONT, Texas (AP) _ Billy Tubbs, who led Oklahoma to the 1988 Final Four, quickly ended his retirement Tuesday when he was introduced as athletic director at Lamar University.
School president James Simmons made the announcement at a news conference which had been billed as the unveiling of a new logo. Tubbs helped with the introduction of the new Cardinal mascot, but his hiring quickly became the center of attention.
``I consider it an honor and an opportunity to come back and, hopefully, make a contribution to this university because, whatever I am today, Lamar University is responsible for it,″ said Tubbs, who ended his 28-year coaching career when he retired from Texas Christian after last season. ``Lamar gave me a scholarship, and, had the university not given me a scholarship, I probably wouldn’t have gone to college.″
Tubbs coached Lamar from 1976-80, going 75-46 and leading the Southland Conference school to the round of 16 in the 1980 NCAA tournament. That helped him land a job at Oklahoma, where he spent 14 seasons, highlighted by the reaching the Final Four in 1988 where the Sooners lost to Kansas in the title game.
Tubbs spent the past eight seasons at TCU, turning a moribund program into a squad that consistently played above .500. He said before the season that this would be his last with the Horned Frogs and right to the end insisted he was done coaching.
``I wasn’t really looking for a job,″ Tubbs said. ``I was looking forward to playing golf every day, but I got the call from home, so to speak.″
Tubbs spent 20 years at Lamar as a player, assistant coach, head coach and faculty member. His two children were born while he was in Beaumont and his son Tommy was an assistant coach and staff member at Lamar.