UK set to take Tubby Smith shirt off at Rupp Arena


Former Kentucky Head Coach Tubby smith will make their long-awaited return to Rupp Arena when their High Point Panthers face the United Kingdom in a non-conference clash at Rupp Arena on December 31.

And when he does, the school will raise his jersey to the rafters to honor the 1998 national championship coach.

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“We wanted this moment for him, the job he did,” said Britain head coach John Calipari after his team’s 83-56 win over Missouri in the SEC opener on Wednesday night. . “Partly you want guys like him and Coach (Joe B.) Hall to really understand how much they are appreciated by our fans. What they did while they were here, winning national titles, the doing it with class, Tubby deserves to be in the rafters. “

Kentucky announced on Aug. 30 that the Wildcats will host Smith and High Point this season. Ahead of the season start on October 19, the UK revealed they will honor Smith ahead of the game. The school asks fans to be in their seats inside the Rupp Arena at 11:40 a.m.

The Wildcats are 3-0 against the Panthers, with Smith winning the last 75-55 at Rupp Arena in 2005. High Point is just 6-7 this season, but played No.10 in the state of Michigan in East Lansing on Wednesday evening. before falling 81-68.

“I think they were leading one at halftime against Michigan State and ended up losing by 13. So don’t think, oh, that’s just another game of play. No it’s not the case, ”Calipari said. “And you all know how good he is to coach. You know what kind of defensive coach he is. Elbows, blocks and physique. He has two really good guards. One scores 21 per game and the other shoots three. at 45% and he lets them go. So, you know, the most important thing is that I want him, his wife and the kids to understand that this place, these fans, this school, this state, absolutely appreciate what he did while he was coaching here. “

Smith will be the 44th retired jersey to hang from the rafters at Rupp Arena, including national championship coaches Adolph Rupp, Joe B. Hall and Rick Pitino.

The former Kentucky head coach, who won a national championship with the Wildcats in 1998, is back as the head coach at his alma mater High Point after stops at Minnesota, Texas Tech and Memphis.

Of his more than 600 career coaching victories, 263 came to Kentucky from 1997-2007, where he won over 75 percent of his games, won five SEC regular-season and tournament titles and won the award. Principal National Coach of the Year in 2003 in addition to winning the 1998 National Championship in his first season as Head Coach after taking over for Rick pitino.

Smith was inducted into the British Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.


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