March 5, 1935 - November 1, 2020 Beaumont
Basketball Coach Billy Tubbs grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma but got to Southeast Texas “as quick as he could." He graduated from Lamar University in 1958 and from Stephen F. Austin in 1959. He was a two-year letterman at Lamar. Following stints as an assistant coach at Lamar and North Texas State, Tubbs served as head coach at Southwestern University from 1971-1973 and Lamar University from 1976 to 1979. During his four years at the helm, the Lamar University team record was 75-46, and they won three conference championships (1977-1979). Tubbs became head coach at Oklahoma in 1980. In his fourteen years there, the team had 13 straight winning seasons and won 5 conference championships. Tubbs was named Big Eight Coach of the Year four times.
In 31 years of coaching, Tubbs compiled a 641-340 (.653) career record, including a 121-89 record in seven years at Lamar. He guided 12 teams to NCAA Tournament appearances, six National Invitation Tournament appearances, eight conference championships, three conference tournament championships, and eighteen 20-win seasons. His 641 wins ranks 34th all-time in NCAA history. While at Oklahoma, Tubbs guided the Sooners to the National Championship game in the NCAA Tournament (1988) and the National Invitation Tournament (1991). Basketball Weekly named Tubbs National Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1985. His 333 wins at OU are the most in school history. He was named SLC Coach of the Year following both the 1978 and 1980 seasons and was twice honored as Coach of the Year by the Texas Basketball Coaches Association.
After serving as head coach for Texas Christian University, Tubbs returned to Lamar University as Director of Athletics in 2002 and soon became head basketball coach. In March 2006, Tubbs resigned as head coach, but remained as Director of Athletics. After serving as a special athletics advisor for several years, Billy Tubbs retired in August of 2011. He was an avid jogger and supported many charitable causes. He and his wife Pat had two children.
Tubbs will always be remembered here for his charisma and for taking Lamar to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 1979 and to the Sweet Sixteen in 1980. Billy Tubbs is a member of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, Sports Hall of Fame.