2002 – Tubby Smith

In addition to former Tulsan and master of ceremonies, Bob Stevens, we’re also welcoming back another gentleman to Tulsa tonight – our keynote speaker and former University of Tulsa head basketball coach – Tubby Smith. In eleven years as a head coach, he’s charted a 256-105 (70.9%) record, coaching teams to the last nine NCAA Tournaments, including seven Sweet Sixteen appearances.

In case you missed all the local sports news from 1991-1995, Smith compiled a 79-43 record at TU. In both 1994 and 1995, the Golden Hurricane won Missouri Valley Conference regular-season titles, advanced to the Sweet Sixteen, and Smith was named MVC Coach of the Year . . . both times. His final year at TU, Smith led the Golden Hurricane to a 24-8 record, the school’s third highest total, and a No. 15 ranking in the final CNN/USA Today poll.

Smith was born in 1951, the sixth of 17 children raised on a rural farm in southern Maryland. At Great Mills High School in Maryland, Smith was a two-sport letterman (basketball and track), captain of his basketball team, and won numerous awards and honors, one being an All-State performer.

At High Point College, Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education. He was basketball team co-captain as a junior, and as a senior was captain and was an All-Carolina Conference selection.

Smith began his coaching career by returning to his Great Mills High School as head coach for four years (46-36) before moving on as head coach for the next four years at Hoke County High School in Raeford, North Carolina (28-18).

Smith then served as assistant coach at Virginia Commonwealth for seven years, including six seasons under J.D. Barnett. VCU’s record during that time was 144-64. They won three Sun Belt Conference Championships and made five NCAA Tournament appearances. From there, he moved on to be assistant coach for George Felton (now Smith’s assistant at UK) at South Carolina for three years, where the Gamecock’s notched a 53-35 three-year record.

Soon, the Kentucky Wildcat head coach Rick Pitino wooed Smith away from his assistant coach position at South Carolina. Pitino’s staff included a few more names you might recognize: Ralph Willard of Holy Cross, North Carolina State’s Herb Sendek, Florida’s Billy Donovan, and Bernadette Mattox, coach of the UK women’s team. In the hands of these future head coaches, the Wildcats racked up two championships in three seasons.

After serving as assistant under Pitino, Smith went on to TU and then to Georgia, where he spent two seasons coaching the Bulldogs to a 45-19 record and the school’s first back-to-back season of 20 or more wins. In fact, the 1996-97 Georgia season was one of his most impressive coaching efforts. After losing eight seniors and all five starters from the year before, Smith led the youthful Dawgs to a 24-9 record. Georgia finished 1997 ranked 17th in the final AP poll and earned a No. 3 seed in the Southeast Regional.

Today, Smith is back at the University of Kentucky and in his sixth year as head coach. Year one saw him become the first coach since Cincinnati’s Ed Zuckerin 1961 to win the national title in his first year at a school. Basketball Weekly tabbed Smith its National Coach of the Year while The Associated Press named him the Co-SEC Coach of the Year. After that first season, the New York Athletic Club presented Smith with the prestigious Winged Foot Award. He was named Parent of the Year by Parent Magazine, received the Victor Award by the Black Coaches Association . . . and was voted the “Sexiest Male Public Figure” in a reader’s vote in a local magazine. Rounding out the year, he was named the Kentucky Sportsman of the Year for 1998, edging out the highly popular Kentucky football team coach, Tim Couch.

Perhaps his greatest honor was representing the U.S. as an assistant coach for the men’s 2000 Olympic basketball team, alongside Rudy Tomjanivoch, Larry Brown, and Gene Keady. This honor came after a 1999 summer honor assisting the U.S. Senior National Team to the gold medal in the Tournament of the Americas in Puerto Rico.

Smith and his wife Donna have three sons: Orlando (G.G.), Saul, and Brian. Not surprisingly, G.G. was a four-year letterman at Georgia and Saul is a point guard at Kentucky.

Shortly after accepting Kentucky’s head coach position, Smith started the Tubby Smith Foundation to assist underprivileged children. He has since conducted annual auctions, golf tournaments and other events while also accepting donations from Bluegrass companies and corporations. Now in its fourth year, the foundation has raised over $1.5 million.

We would have been hard pressed to find anyone any more appropriate for a night of honoring the memory of revered basketball coach, Henry P. Iba. It’s nice to see you in Tulsa again, Tubby.

Stay Connected

Our leadership team gave their Monday night to attend the Visioning Launch Lab, getting ready for the start of the new Rotary year on July 1st. 🎉🎉

What an amazing and dedicated group! Can’t wait to see what all they accomplish this year! #agentsofchange #peopleofaction
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Happy #MemberMonday honoring one of our Rotarians.

Dr. Mouzon Biggs, Jr., is inspiring on many levels and we are blessed to be able to call him a fellow Rotarian.

Anytime it is announced that Mouzon will be speaking it brings anticipation that you will hear something grand, something that will leave you thinking about what has been said. We all know Mouzon speaks from the heart and presents in a thoughtful, inspirational and well-meaning way. Mouzon inspires me to “keep doing the next right thing” and "keep swinging for the fences” as he so amply displays this motto in his day to day life. Thank you Mouzon for being you.

Upon retiring as Sr Pastor at Boston Avenue Methodist Church Mouzon said: “I never walked into the pulpit that I didn’t do the best I knew how to be as faithful to God’s word as I knew how. I never promised a home run, but I did promise to swing as hard as I could. I think I managed that.”

I think we can all agree he did that and so much more.
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June 14, 2004

15 years ago today, Past President Jimmie Saied celebrated his final birthday at the 11th Annual Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards Banquet directing "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

2004 Iba Chair, Linda Bradshaw, introduced him with the following:

"Our finale is a tribute to our honorees with a presentation that is a testament to his own life. A gentleman and patriot beyond description was born this very day, June 14, 1915 on Flag Day. He carried the torch to Washington to witness the signing into law signifying that "The Star and Stripes Forever" become the official march of the United States of America. He has thrilled thousands for decades with his characterization of John Philip Sousa through the concerts he has conducted across this great country. I'm proud to celebrate his 89th birthday with him tonight. He is my dearest and personal friend. Please welcome, Maestro James G. Saied."
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The Rotary Club of Tulsa, with sincere appreciation, presents the “James G. Saied Service Above Self…And Then Some” Award to Rotarian and Past President Charles B. Wilson, Jr.

For continuing to serve his club with leadership counsel and enthusiasm long after serving as club President, 1996-97;

For strengthening the club by initiating several membership initiatives that led to more and higher committed members that reflect the vitality and diversity of our community;

For his numerous leadership positions on the board and club committees, including the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards, where he chaired the event and served on the organizing committee for all 25 years;

For his leadership coordinating Rotary’s support for the transformational OU-OSU Bedlam Clinics;

He is exceptionally qualified to receive the club’s highest honor.

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