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By LARRY GOFFINET
LUBBOCK, Texas—After first deciding to remain on the University of Minnesota’s basketball staff with new coach Richard Pitino, Tell City graduate Steven Goodson has changed his mind and is following Tubby Smith to Texas Tech.
Goodson, 30, had been on Minnesota’s staff the last six years but had been with Smith 12 years, starting as a student manager for his University of Kentucky team in 2001.
Goodson accepted the director of basketball operations position on Pitino’s staff in April. But he later had second thoughts.
“I was originally headed to Lubbock with Coach Smith. Then Richard offered me the DOBO position and Coach Smith said I couldn’t turn that down.”
Goodson later had second thoughts and applied for a position as coach and athletic director of a prep school in Arizona.
“When Coach Smith caught wind that I was willing to leave Minnesota to coach a prep team, he called and told me he really wanted me at Texas Tech.”
He offered Goodson the role of director of player development and he accepted.
He said his “main duties will be making sure the guys are getting better and doing what they’re supposed to do on and off the court. And I’ll help organize the recruiting.”
He noted that Smith will be the fourth coach for the incoming seniors (following Pat Knight, Billy Gillispie and interim coach Chris Walker), so they haven’t had a lot of stability.
“We’re in this for the long haul (Smith has a seven-year contract). And the team’s going to get better as the year goes on—that’s Coach Smith’s M.O.
“He wants to leave a legacy out there before he retires. One of his goals is to see me be a head coach before he retires.”
Bobby Knight, who preceded his son, Pat, as Texas Tech’s coach, saw many of his assistants become head coaches throughout his career.
“Bobby Knight still lives in Lubbock and he and Coach Smith talk almost every day—they’re pretty close,” said Goodson.
Goodson will soon be living in Lubbock, as he said he made an offer on a house Tuesday.
He plans to be in Tell City next week, though, and will play in the Schweizer Fest three-on-three basketball tourney on a team with Aaron Carter, Brett Kleeman and Jeremy Howard.