Tubby Smith is returning to his alma mater, High Point University, to coach the men's basketball team. The official announcement comes less than two weeks after Smith was fired from the University of Memphis.

High Point University President Nido Qubein shared the news amidst plenty of fanfare on Tuesday.

Smith played basketball as a student at High Point from 1969 to 1973. His coaching career includes more than a dozen trips to the NCAA tournament - among them, a 1998 championship win with the Kentucky Wildcats.

HPU freshman Rachel Prandoni says the news is good for the school.

“To have such a big name like Tubby Smith here coaching, it's really exciting," she says. "As a cheerleader, we love watching the games, and I think he'll definitely bring a lot - not only encouraging a great atmosphere but obviously improving our basketball program.”

Qubein also announced plans to move up construction on a new arena and conference center that will include a hotel - at a cost of $130 million. The facility will be on campus and ready for the 2020 basketball season.

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