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Tuesday, May 28, 2002
Former TCU coach returns to Lamar as AD

Associated Press

BEAUMONT, Texas -- Billy Tubbs, who turned Oklahoma into a national basketball power in the 1980s then helped improve Texas Christian, became athletic director Tuesday at Lamar University, where he played and coached.

School president James Simmons made the announcement at a news conference billed as the unveiling of a new logo. Tubbs helped with the introduction of the new Cardinal mascot, but his hiring quickly became the center of attention.

''I consider it an honor and an opportunity to come back and, hopefully, make a contribution to this university because, whatever I am today, Lamar University is responsible for it,'' Tubbs said.

''Lamar gave me a scholarship, and, had the university not given me a scholarship, I probably wouldn't have gone to college.''

Tubbs coached Lamar for four of his 28 seasons, going 75-46 from 1976-80 and leading the Southland Conference school to the round of 16 in the 1980 NCAA Tournament. That helped him land a job at Oklahoma, where he spent 14 seasons, reaching the NCAA finals in 1988.

Tubbs spent the past eight seasons at TCU, turning a moribund program into a squad that consistently played above .500. He said before the season that this would be his last with the Horned Frogs and in final days insisted he was done coaching.

''I wasn't really looking for a job,'' Tubbs said. ''I was looking forward to playing golf every day, but I got the call from home, so to speak.''

Tubbs spent 20 years at Lamar as a player, assistant coach, head coach and faculty member. His two children were born while he was in Beaumont and one of his sons, Tommy, was an assistant coach and staff member at the school.