Monday, May 23, 2016

Tubby Smith Inducted Into High Point Athletics Hall of Fame

Former University of Kentucky head coach Tubby Smith was inducted into the High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame Saturday. 

Smith starred for High Point from 1969-73 and still ranks as the No. 7 all-time scorer in program history.

He has totaled 557 career wins as a head coach.

Here is a release from High Point:

HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University Athletic Department and the HPU Panther Club held the second annual High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Saturday night inside the Millis Center.

More than 200 former High Point University student-athletes, coaches, staff, family and friends gathered to celebrate and honor four extraordinary members of the HPU Athletics family.

The 2016 Hall of Fame class included Marie Riley ('80, women's basketball/volleyball/tennis), Orlando "Tubby" Smith ('73, basketball), Kitty Steele (field hockey/tennis head coach) and Roger Watson ('66, golf).

"We are privileged to honor the legacy and outstanding achievements of this 2016 class of inductees," athletic director Dan Hauser said. "The records, the success and the championship achievements that this group has created are amazing. Thank you for choosing to be a part of the High Point University family and sharing those moments with us."

The event was emceed by WFMY sports anchor Liz Crawford. Crawford welcomed Riley up to the stage as the first inductee into the High Point University Athletics Hall of Fame. A member of HPU's 1978 AIAW National Championship Team, Riley was a three-time All-American in women's basketball and also led the Panthers to conference and state championships in volleyball and tennis. She was one of the best all-around student-athletes to ever don the Purple & White.

"Woody Gibson, Jerry Steele and Mrs. Steele, they really helped me along," Riley said. "They guided me. I was skinny and shy and they did so much for me. I thank the Panther Club and I appreciate everything this university has done for me."

After Riley's induction, Crawford introduced HPU basketball's most prominent alumnus and one of the best college basketball coaches in the history of the sport. Orlando "Tubby" Smith starred for the Panthers from 1969-73 and still ranks as the No. 7 all-time scorer in program history.

Since his graduation from HPU, Smith has amassed 557 career victories in a 26-season coaching career, including a run to the 1997 national title as the head coach at Kentucky. He is one of just two coaches ever to lead five Div. I schools to the NCAA Tournament (Tulsa, Georgia, Kentucky, Minnesota, Texas Tech) and has commanded his teams to four Elite Eights, nine Sweet 16s and 18 NCAA Tournament berths. Smith was hired as the head coach at the University of Memphis in April.

"This is a tremendous honor. To be recognized by your alma mater, that's the pinnacle of what you can achieve in life," Smith said. "My coaches and teammates here have made such a huge difference in my life. My experiences at High Point have played a unique and important part in preparing me for the success I've achieved in my career. I don't think I've received an honor as significant as this in my life."

Complete Release

Photo: High Point Athletics

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