Tubby Smith became the 16th head coach in Gopher basketball history when hired in 2007; this total includes interim coaches Jim Molinari and Jimmy Williams. On March 25, 2013, Tubby Smith was fired after failing to reach the Sweet Sixteen again. The Golden Gophers have had many successful players come through the program throughout its history.Five coaches led the team for more than 10 seasons: Cooke, Mc Millan, O. In the early years of basketball, when the Gophers had success, they recruited some of the best players in the country.The Golden Gophers have played in the Big Ten since the conference began sponsoring basketball in 1905 and play their home games in Williams Arena.The Gophers had great success in the early years of basketball, but have been largely overshadowed by other programs since the end of World War I.Trent Tucker led the 1982 squad to the Big Ten Championship.Voshon Lenard was a key player for the Gophers in the early 1990s and went on to play more than a decade in the NBA.
The University's student newspaper at the time, the Ariel, reported on basketball throughout 1895 as the sport was introduced to the campus from a rival school, Minnesota A&M in St.Paul, later incorporated into the larger University of Minnesota Twin Cities.In 1896, a team from the school began to participate in a league with the Agriculture school, YMCA teams, and other local associations. Cooke, a director of the Minneapolis YMCA, was hired on a part-time basis to coach the basketball program, and became the full-time coach and director of physical education by the fall of that year.The Gophers have had several NBA coaches grace the sidelines.John Kundla took over as Gophers head coach after the Minneapolis Lakers departed for Los Angeles.