LU News Archive

Montagne Center floor to be tapped Billy and Pat Tubbs Court

Perhaps no name is more synonymous with the storied Lamar University basketball tradition than Billy Tubbs. That name, along with his wife of 52 years Pat, will become a permanent part of the basketball legacy on Saturday night as the Montagne Center floor will be named “Billy and Pat Tubbs Court” in their honor.

Tubbs, who played at Lamar from 1955-57 under Jack Martin, is now in his 27th year of service to his alma mater. Just the 28th coach in NCAA history to record 600 career wins, Tubbs currently serves as special assistant to the president.

“Billy Tubbs is a legendary figure in the basketball community and has left a lasting legacy at Lamar University – first as a player, then coach and finally athletics director,” said Lamar University President James Simmons. “His success as the men’s basketball coach could not have been possible without the loving support of his wife Pat, so it is only fitting that the playing court in the Montagne Center bears their names.”

The ceremony will take place at halftime of Lamar’s 7:05 p.m. game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. It is a fitting night for the ceremony as it is also the annual Basketball Players Reunion Weekend which will honor Tubbs’ 1978-79 team, the first in school history to advance to the NCAA Division I Tournament.

“It’s certainly a great honor, and I’m humbled to say the least,” said Tubbs. “My name will be on the court, but it represents all the great players I’ve been associated with. I’ve always believed that when a player or coach receives an individual honor, it is a tribute to the whole team.

“The one plyer who has been at my side throughout my coaching career and shared in all the wins and losses is Pat Tubbs. I am fortunate to have a bride who allowed me to do everything I needed to do to be a successful coach. Lamar has been such a big part of our lives, and I am happy to share this honor with her. This university means so much to us both.”

From 1976-80, Tubbs led the Cardinals to a 75-46 record and the school’s first two NCAA Tournament appearances. Lamar won three straight SLC championships and advanced to the 1980 Sweet 16, including an upset of No. 5 Oregon State.

“Lamar is honoring a Cardinal icon, and his wife Pat, in the most perfect way,” said LU athletics director Larry Tidwell. “Coach Tubbs brings a passion to the game of basketball that only a few have ever possessed.  We have been very fortunate to have had him walk the sidelines of Lamar University for over 25 years and in every step with his loving wife beside him, he has done it with a first class style and attitude.”

In 30 years as a head coach, Tubbs has compiled a 641-340 (.652) record, becoming just the ninth coach to record 100 wins at three different schools. Tubbs led his teams to 12 NCAA Tournament berths, six NIT appearances, eight conference championships, three conference tournament championships and 18 20-win seasons.

After leaving Lamar in 1980, Tubbs turned football rabid Oklahoma into a national basketball power. Tubbs guided the Sooners to six straight NCAA Sweet 16 appearances, including a spot in the 1988 national championship game.

Tubbs has twice been named national coach of the year and has earned conference coach of the year honors eight times.