MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Final Four is bringing a lot of famous and familiar faces to town and former Gophers Head Coach Tubby Smith is one of them.
Smith won his National Championship with Kentucky in 1998, but now he comes back to Minneapolis looking forward to reconnecting with old friends and coaches and to also do some good.
Smith loves Minnesota and openly admitted to FOX 9 he wishes he was still coaching here.
He's here in part for the Final Four, which is something he's won. Also, the event is in his former hometown and features his former Texas Tech team. The combination of all these factors, plus his desire to give back, has created a perfect homecoming for the coach.
Years ago, Smith inspired his former manager Drew Boe to found Keys to the Locker Room.
They take donated athletic equipment and gear for college and pro teams. They sell them online at a lower price, but more importantly, they give them free to kids in need.
They're doing just that tomorrow from noon to 2 p.m. at the Minneapolis Conventional Center. Smith was first to donate Gophers gear when leaving the University of Minnesota for Texas Tech.
This weekend will come full circle for Smith. A lot has changed since he has left. U.S. Bank is hosting the Final Four and the Gophers have new, upgraded facilities, but his love for this state and his mission to serve others is the same.