Men's Basketball
UK Hall of Famer Tubby Smith Named 2024 SEC Legend

UK Hall of Famer Tubby Smith Named 2024 SEC Legend

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – University of Kentucky Hall of Famer and National Championship coach, Orlando “Tubby” Smith will represent the Wildcats as a member of the 2024 Southeastern Conference Legends class at the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tennessee.

Past greats from all 14 SEC member institutions will be honored at the league tournament at Bridgestone Arena. Each legend will be recognized during halftime of their team’s first game of the tournament, as well as a group introduction at halftime of the first semifinal game on Saturday.

Smith was head coach at Kentucky for 10 seasons, from 1998-2007, guiding the Wildcats to one national championship, five SEC regular-season crowns and five SEC Tournament titles. He compiled a record of 263-83 at UK, winning 76% of his games while taking on a schedule annually ranked among the nation’s toughest. He was named National Coach of the Year three times and SEC Coach of the Year three times during his term in Lexington.

Smith led the “Comeback Cats” to the 1998 NCAA Championship after falling behind by 17, 10 and 12 points, respectively, in the second half of the Elite Eight, Final Four and National Championship games of the tournament.

Smith took UK to the NCAA Tournament in all 10 seasons in Lexington, fashioning a 23-9 record in the event, and was 20-5 in the SEC tourney.

He ranks eighth in league history with 308 victories between his time with Kentucky and Georgia. His 139 SEC regular-season victories ranks 12th all-time in league annals. His career winning percentage of 75.1% is sixth all-time and his 72.4% in SEC league games is the fifth best.

Smith became the third head coach to be retired to the Rupp Arena rafters. He was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013 and his jersey was retired in 2021.

The men’s basketball legends program began in 1999 with classes honored every year with the exception of 2020, 2021, and 2022.

2024 Allstate® SEC Basketball Legends
Alabama – Richard Hendrix, Basketball
Arkansas – Derek Hood, Basketball
Auburn – Cliff Ellis, Basketball
Florida – Taurean Green, Basketball
Georgia – Rashad Wright, Basketball
Kentucky – Orlando “Tubby” Smith, Basketball
LSU – Darrel Mitchell, Basketball
Ole Miss – Dwayne Curtis, Basketball
Mississippi State – Timmy Bowers, Basketball
Missouri – Willie Smith, Basketball
South Carolina – Joe Rhett, Basketball
Tennessee – Chris Lofton, Basketball
Texas A&M – Elston Turner, Basketball
Vanderbilt – Frank Seckar, Basketball

Kentucky returns to action with the first of two straight home games on Saturday. UK hosts Arkansas for a 1:30 p.m. ET tip on CBS.

For the latest on the Kentucky men’s basketball team, follow @KentuckyMBB on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, and on the web at

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