Lamar assistant Roccaforte to replace Tubbs as coach

BEAUMONT, Texas -- Lamar named assistant Steve Roccaforte as Billy Tubbs' replacement Tuesday, one day after Tubbs ended a 31-year coaching career by retiring.

Roccaforte spent three seasons under Tubbs, who will remain as Lamar's athletic director. Tubbs hired Roccaforte in 2003 after returning to Lamar, which he coached in the 1970s before taking over at Oklahoma and later TCU.

Roccaforte, 39, has also been an assistant at Memphis, Wyoming and Tulane. He graduated from Lamar in 1989.

"This is the job I've always coveted," Roccaforte said. "I went to every Lamar game I could growing up."

Tubbs went 46-43 in his final three seasons at Lamar. He was 641-340 in his career and made 12 NCAA Tournament appearances. Nine of those were at Oklahoma, which Tubbs led to the championship game in 1988 before losing to Kansas.

"I believe [Roccaforte] has a great future and will continue to take Lamar basketball to our expectation level of where the program should be on a yearly basis," Tubbs said.