Legendary Oklahoma, TCU and Lamar basketball coach Billy Tubbs dies at 85

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Legendary basketball coach Billy Tubbs, an icon of the game who gained 4 Large Eight Coach of the Yr awards within the Eighties whereas on the College of Oklahoma, died after a years-long battle with leukemia on Sunday morning. He was 85 years previous.

Tubbs’ household introduced his passing Sunday afternoon in an announcement on OU’s Twitter web page, whereby they revealed he had been battling a type of leukemia since 2015.

“Although his passing represents an incredible loss for everybody near him, our household is comforted by the data he lived an especially spirited life filled with excellent accomplishment out and in of sports activities,” the household stated in its assertion. “Many are conscious of his exceptional achievements as a basketball coach, however we’ll keep in mind him for far more than all of his wins, convention titles and NCAA Match success. He was a fierce competitor in every little thing he confronted, and that was by no means extra evident than in his ultimate days.”

Tubbs gained 609 video games as a university basketball coach throughout an illustrious profession that spanned from the late Nineteen Seventies to the early 2000s. His largest success got here at OU, the place he went 333-132 as Sooners coach from 1980-1994. Throughout his time in Norman, Oklahoma, he gained two Large Eight Match titles, 4 Large Eight regular-season races and led OU to 9 NCAA Match appearances. In that span, he led this system to 2 Elite Eights appearances and, in 1988, helped the Sooners break by to the nationwide title sport. They misplaced 83-79 within the ultimate to Kansas, the workforce broadly remembered as “Danny and the Miracles,” a reference to Danny Manning and his otherworldly efficiency all through the match.

Tubbs started his profession at Lamar — the place he completed off his taking part in profession in 1957 — as an assistant coach. He left the college in 1971 for Southwestern, however returned in 1976 to grow to be the pinnacle coach. He then left Lamar in 1980 for Oklahoma, however as destiny would have it, Lamar received his ultimate teaching energies; he returned to educate there in 2003 and formally retired in 2011. The college devoted the Montagne Heart ground the “Billy and Pat Tubbs Court docket,” named within the honor of him and his spouse.

At Lamar, he discovered success few others might have. He led the Cardinals to 3 regular-season championships within the late Nineteen Seventies, and twice led them to NCAA Match appearances. Their solely Candy 16 look within the historical past of this system got here underneath his watch, when in 1980 they took out Weber State and Oregon State earlier than falling to Clemson. Per Lamar, Tubbs was scheduled to carry a Fb Dwell occasion on Nov. 10 to “speak about LU basketball and their careers.”

Tubbs coached a complete of 17 NBA Draft picks, seven All-Individuals — together with legendary in-state star Wayman Tisdale — and twice gained Nationwide Coach of the Yr honors. He coached a fast, environment friendly and electrical model of basketball that matched his character. Because the Tulsa World’s Invoice Haisten wrote: “Tubbs was recognized for his colourful character, fast wit and verbal battles with sport officers. He was recognized additionally for nice offensive basketball.”

“Whereas Billy will all the time be recognized for having groups with legendary gamers who wreaked havoc on protection and scored plenty of factors, he’ll even be remembered for his quick-witted humor and allure,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione stated in an announcement. “His one-liners and joyful charisma helped outline the persona of the coach we cherished.”

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