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Legendary college basketball coach Tubby Smith announced Wednesday that he is stepping down at High Point and that his son, G.G. Smith, will succeed him. Smith, 70, is one of just three head coaches to take five different programs to the NCAA Tournament. He led Kentucky to the 1998 national title to highlight a career that also included stops at Tulsa, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas Tech and Memphis.

Smith recently contracted COVID-19 for a second time in less than a year and felt that "the timing was right for this change," according to a statement from the school. Smith, a High Point alum, was in his fourth season leading the program after a two-year run at Memphis. The Panthers are 11-15 on the season and sit eighth in the Big South standings. 

"I feel blessed to have had an amazing career leading, coaching and teaching great young men at first-class institutions," said Smith. "Working at my alma mater during this stage of my career has been a dream. I'm thrilled that G.G. will be taking over as head coach. He will do a super job. Moving forward Donna and I will continue the work we have done for over two decades to support and assist the University as proud alums of HPU."

G.G. Smith joined his father's staff at High Point after the elder Smith was hired in 2018. He previously served as the coach at Loyola (Maryland) for five seasons. G.G. began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant at Kentucky in the early 2000s amid his father's 10-year run with the Wildcats. UK won at least one game in every NCAA Tournament during Tubby Smith's tenure, and he posted a 263-83 mark with the program.

The Wildcats honored Smith on Dec. 31 by hanging a jersey at Rupp Arena in Smith's honor when Kentucky hosted High Point.

"Tubby Smith is a champion, and High Point University continues to appreciate his contributions to our campus and community," High Point [resident Nido Qubein said. "As a coach, Tubby has impacted the game of basketball in measurable and meaningful ways. Tubby and his wife Donna have also created a legacy of leadership and service along their entire journey, and we are happy that will continue to grow right here at HPU. We are also excited for G.G. in his new role as the men's head coach."