As a player, assistant coach, ticket manager, head coach, director of athletics and now special assistant to the president, Billy Tubbs has served Lamar University for a total of 25 years. He was involved in the winning of eight conference championships as a coach, and since he returned to the school as athletics director in 2002, Lamar teams have accounted for 20 Southland Conference championships in eight different sports.
A 1957 graduate of Lamar, Tubbs has been instrumental in the resurrection of the school's football program, which will take the field for the first time in 21 years this fall. Included in this massive endeavor is a $26 million renovation of Provost Umphrey Stadium and the construction of a two-story, 44,000-square-foot fieldhouse.
Also during Tubbs' watch as athletics director, the women's soccer program was launched, and a $3 million soccer/softball complex is now under construction. Plans tentatively call for the softball program to begin competition in the 2011-2012 academic year.
Earlier in Tubbs' tenure as athletics director, Vincent-Beck Stadium (the 3,500-seat baseball facility) received a facelift with the installation of Olympia Turf in the infield, which has been a tremendous help in reducing drainage problems. Also relatively new at the baseball complex are the coaches' offices, an indoor practice facility and the press box.
In 2005 and again in 2008, Tubbs helped Lamar's various athletic teams cope with and solve problems caused by two major hurricanes. This included making extensive repairs to both the Montagne Center and to Vincent-Beck Stadium.
When Tubbs ended his 31st season as a head coach in 2006, his 641 career victories ranked 34th all-time in NCAA history. He is one of only nine coaches to reach the 100-victory mark at three different schools (333 at Oklahoma, 156 at Texas Christian University and 121 at Lamar), and he reached the pinnacle of his career when he guided his 1987-1988 Sooners to the NCAA championship game.
Tubbs made his first big national splash while with Lamar in 1979, when his Cardinals upset 17th-ranked Detroit 95-87 in the NCAA Tournament before losing to eventual national champion Michigan State. The next season the Cardinals upended both No. 17 Weber State (87-86) and No. 5 Oregon State (81-77) in the West Regional to earn Lamar's only trip to the Sweet 16, in which the Cardinals fell to Clemson.
In addition to being a two-time National Coach of the Year (1983 and 1985), Tubbs earned Coach of the Year recognition twice in the SLC, four times in the Big Eight Conference, once in the Southwest Conference and once in the Western Athletic Conference. In 14 years at Oklahoma, he led the Sooners to postseason play 13 times (nine NCAA Tournaments and four NITs). At TCU, he guided the Horned Frogs to one NCAA Tournament and one NIT.
Tubbs' coaching resume includes records of 333-132 (.716 percentage) at Oklahoma, 156-95 (.622) at TCU, 121-89 (.576) at Lamar and 31-24 (.564) at Southwestern University. Eighteen times his teams posted 20-victory seasons, and they made 12 NCAA appearances and six NIT appearances, while winning eight conference championships and three conference tournament championships.
Tubbs' seven seasons as Lamar's head basketball coach came in two stints - from 1976-1980 and from 2003-2006. After those final three seasons in the dual role of AD/head coach, he turned over the head coaching duties to Steve Roccaforte, who had been his top assistant for those years, and returned to concentrating solely on his responsibilities as director of athletics.
Tubbs, who earned his master's degree from Stephen F. Austin University in 1959, began his head coaching career at Southwestern University in 1971.
A native of Tulsa, Tubbs was a two-year letterwinner at Lamar from 1955-1957 for coach Jack Martin. He began his college coaching career as Martin's assistant for 11 seasons from 1960-1971.
Tubbs was a three-year basketball letterwinner at Tulsa's Central High School, and he was an All-America guard at Lon Morris Junior College, where he helped the Bearcats to the National Junior College semifinals.
An avid jogger and golfer, he recorded his first hole-in-one in July of 1995. The president and CEO of B.T., Inc., Tubbs is a supporter of many charitable causes.
Billy and Pat Tubbs have two children, Tommy, who played two seasons at point guard for his dad at Oklahoma and was an assistant coach at Lamar, and Taylor McDaniel, a former head pom-pom for the Sooner cagers. Tommy and his wife, Ann, are the parents of two daughters, Hannah Marie and Katie. Taylor also has a daughter, Callie, and three sons, Trey, Cale and Cason.