May 5, 2010
FRISCO, Texas - Lamar University Athletics Director Billy Tubbs will be inducted into the Southland Conference Hall of Honor during the conference's annual honors ceremony and dinner June 3 at the San Luis Resort in Galveston, Texas.
Tubbs has been a part of Lamar athletics as a player, assistant coach, ticket manager, head coach and director of athletics, for 25 years. He was involved in the winning of eight conference championships as a coach, and since his return to the school as athletics director in 2002, Lamar teams have accounted for 20 Southland Conference championships in eight different sports.
"Certainly I'm especially honored with receiving this award, especially from the fact that I've been with the Southland Conference off and on ever since it started in 1963," Tubbs said. "I'm a longtime Southland Conference history buff, and I've watched a lot of quality people come and go at the member schools over the years. Knowing the caliber of the people who have been involved in the Southland Conference throughout its history, I think, makes this an awesome honor."
Tubbs was a three-year basketball letterman 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. He transferred to Lamar and played two seasons (1955-57) for coach Jack Martin before earning his degree in 1957. Tubbs added a master's degree from Stephen F. Austin in 1959 and began his college coaching career as Martin's assistant for 11 seasons from 1960-1971. His first head coaching position was at Southwestern University in 1971.
His first stint as the head coach at Lamar was from 1976-80. Tubbs made his first big national splash with Lamar in 1979, when his Cardinals upset 17th-ranked Detroit in the NCAA tournament before losing to eventual national champion Michigan State. The next season, the Cardinals upended both No. 17 Weber State and No. 5 Oregon State in the West Regional to earn Lamar's only trip to the Sweet 16, before falling to Clemson.
That success opened a door for him at Oklahoma, where he coached until 1994. He reached the pinnacle of his career in 1987-88 when he guided the Sooners to the NCAA championship game. In 1994, he became the head coach at Texas Christian where and served until 2002. Tubbs returned to Lamar in 2002 as athletic director and again served as the men's basketball coach from 2003-06.
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 universities (333 at Oklahoma, 156 at TCU and 121 at Lamar). Eighteen times his teams posted 20-win seasons, and they made 12 NCAA appearances and six NIT appearances, while winning eight conference championships and three conference tournament championships.
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 Southland Conference, four times in the Big Eight Conference, once in the Southwest Conference and once in the Western Athletic Conference.
As athletic director, 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. Also during Tubbs' tenure as athletics director, the women's soccer program was launched and plans tentatively call for the softball program to begin competition in the 2011-12 academic year.
Tubbs has also been honored by Lamar's Cardinal Hall of Honor, by the state of Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, by the All-College Tournament Hall of Fame and by the Tulsa Central High School Hall of Fame. He has also been honored as a Distinguished Alum at Lamar and at Lon Morris College.
As an avid jogger and golfer, he recorded his first hole-in-one in July 1995. The president and CEO of B.T., Inc., Tubbs and his wife Pat are supporters of many charitable causes.