Minnesota Basketball: Tubby Smith Says He Will Return Next Season

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 10: Head coach Tubby Smith of the Minnesota Golden Gophers looks on against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first round of the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 10, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Tubby Smith said Monday he plans on returning next season.

For those Minnesota Golden Gophers men's basketball fans curious about the future of head coach Tubby Smith after the 2011-12, your question were answered Monday when Smith made it clear to the media that he plans to return next season.

Smith plans to coach, he said Monday, "as long as I can coach. I'm not going to put a date on it. As long as I can keep a job, I'll be fine."

On Wednesday, Smith's Gophers face the La Salle Explorers in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament, and will be looking to improve on their 17-win season.

Another factor in Smith playing out his contract, which lasts until 2013-14, is his returning players for next year and the possible return of power forward Trevor Mbakwe, who should be granted a medical red-shirt after suffering a season-ending knee injury.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also learn more about college basketball around the nation at SB Nation's College Basketball hub.

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