CBSSports.com is reporting that the former Kentucky coach has been fired and that Minnesota will buy out the remaining four years on Smith’s contract. The university will pay Smith up to $2.5 million in the buyout.
Smith’s record was 124-81 in Minneapolis, but his Big 10 mark was 46-62. The 61-year-old Smith did not have an NCAA Tourney win as Gophers coach, losing in the first round in two previous appearances, before Minnesota whipped UCLA 83-63 on Friday night.
Sunday, Minnesota was blitzed 48-27 in the first half by Florida before losing 78-64. It did not help Smith’s case that he was working for an athletic director,
Joe Maturi, Norwood Teague, who was not around when the coach was hired after spending 10 years at Kentucky, where he won the national title in 1998.
The hot name Minnesota is apparently seeking: Shaka Smart.