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Local Fans React to Tubby Smith Firing

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MANKATO , MINN. -

Some were shocked, while others are hopeful a new coach can better lead a fairly talented Gopher squad.

"The team had promise and he didn't take them where he need to be."

Jimmy Whitehead is a junior at MSU and play guard for the MSU basketball teams... he knows firsthand how important it is to have a coach that can help lead the team while facing tough competition.

Whitehead says, "Our coach really preaches discipline and no matter what you have to keep going, no matter what the competition is you have to play the best of your ability... and I got sense that Tubby Smith was too nice and you want to have a good relationship with your guys, but you also have to have a strong base."

Tubby smith's record was 124–81 in six seasons at Minnesota. He arrived in 2007 from Kentucky, immediately ramping up expectations.

The 61 year old Smith won his first NCAA tournament game Friday against UCLA.

But evidently that wasn't enough.

Shannon Rathmanner says, "I don't think he lived up to his expectations he was supposed to get us to this kind of tournament... further than we got last night... Last night was embarrassing we played awful."

The University of Minnesota's Athletic Director, Norwood Teague said, "We are grateful to Tubby and his entire staff for their hard work and dedication to this University."

However, adding ... the program is looking for a fresh set of eyes.

Teague says,  "We felt now following a season where there were high expectations for this coaching staff that it was time to make a change for the benefit of our student athletes and as we build for the future."

Vince Small says, "The team has been up and down there can be great games or horrible games you never know what team you're going to get."

Rathmanner says, "You can see one team that's incredible that beats a team like Indiana and then last night with the turnovers and they can't make easy shots it's ridiculous.

CBS Sports is reporting that the university is buying out the remaining years of his contract.

While many are looking forward to this change... others think it's the wrong move.

Ron Guappne says, "I was proud of how far they went. So no they should have not let him go... and then they're going to pay him $2million it's a waste of money give him another year let him work with his recruits and see where it goes but it's too late....

A national search for the 17th men's head basketball coach in the history of the Golden Gopher program is ongoing.