Billy Tubbs, previous Oklahoma basketball coach, dies at 85

Billy Tubbs, the vibrant mentor with the superior-octane process known as Billy Ball who introduced Oklahoma basketball to prominence in the 1980s, died Sunday. He was 85.

Tubbs’ family claimed in a statement that he battled a sort of leukemia since getting diagnosed in 2015. The assertion mentioned he died peacefully surrounded by family.

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“Though his passing represents a remarkable decline for everyone close to him, our household is comforted by the know-how he lived an exceptionally spirited lifestyle entire of excellent accomplishment in and out of sports,” the assertion said.

Tubbs took around a having difficulties Oklahoma program in 1980. The Sooners arrived at the NCAA Tournament just as soon as —- for most of people many years, only the Big 8 champion went to the event — in excess of the 32 seasons prior to Tubbs’ arrival and held a blended profitable percentage of .471 from 1950 to 1980.

His fast-paced offenses and relentless total-court docket force defenses led to loads of scoring, exhilaration and wins. His 1987-88 crew, showcasing long run NBA gamers Mookie Blaylock, Harvey Grant and Stacey King, was upset by Kansas in the NCAA title recreation. Tubbs also coached Wayman Tisdale, a a few-time AP All-American and Olympic gold medalist.

Tubbs experienced a 333-132 history in 14 seasons at Oklahoma and was four time Major 8 Mentor of the Year. In three seasons, the Sooners averaged much more than 100 factors for each game.

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Coach Billy Tubbs,” Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione mentioned in a assertion. “Billy is a person of the most profitable, popular and vibrant figures in the background of OU Athletics. His enthusiasm and vision of the sport defined an era of Quicker basketball and endlessly modified the trajectory of our hoops method.”

Tubbs coached at TCU from 1995-2002 and bought the formerly struggling program to the NCAA Match in 1998. He experienced two coaching stints at his alma mater, Lamar, and was athletic director there from 2002 to 2011.

In 2011, Lamar devoted the basketball flooring at the Montagne Party Centre as “Billy & Pat Tubbs Court,” named in honor of the coach and his wife.

In general, Tubbs experienced a 609-317 (.658) history as a Division I head mentor. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Tubbs was head mentor at Lamar from 1976 to 1980 and led the Cardinals to their 1st two NCAA Tournaments. He was Southland Meeting Coach of the Calendar year in 1978 and 1980, and his crew achieved the Sweet 16 in 1980.

Possibly his most popular minute of all arrived on Feb. 9, 1989, though he was coaching Oklahoma.

The Sooners fell behind Missouri early, and lovers who disagreed with a touring get in touch with in opposition to Blaylock had thrown particles on the court docket. The community-handle announcer informed the crowd the Sooners could be assessed a technical if the action ongoing.

Tubbs then took the microphone and said: “The referees ask for that regardless of how horrible the officiating is, do not toss stuff on the flooring.”

He attained a specialized from official Ed Hightower and a standing ovation from the property crowd.

He stood by his phrases.

“Actually, that was a legitimate statement,” Tubbs explained to the Kansas Town Star a long time later on. “I just went up there and advised the truth, appropriate? Which is why they had been throwing stuff on the flooring.”

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For the report, Oklahoma rallied for a 112-105 win.

After his next run at Lamar, Tubbs was an energetic golfer. He boasted two holes-in-one, with his most current ace coming at the age of 83 at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman.

In recent a long time, he would attend basketball video games at the Lloyd Noble Middle and go to the media home at halftime to chat with reporters.

On Saturday night, Tubbs wore a “Cheer Like a Champion” shirt although viewing the football team’s earn in excess of Texas Tech.

“He was intense competitor in everything he confronted, and that was hardly ever more obvious than in his last times,” the assertion said.