AUBURN, Ala. (WJHL) – Former Auburn head men’s basketball coach and Tri-Cities native Sonny Smith found out Saturday that the school will honor the former coach with a banner in Auburn Arena.
Smith coached the Tigers from 1978 to 1989 and found most of his success in the mid-80’s. He guided Auburn to its first NCAA tournament in 1984 with Charles Barkley leading the charge. He was named the SEC Coach of the Year the same season.
That jumpstarted five-straight trips to the Big Dance, which included a spot in the Elite Eight in 1986. This streak of five-straight NCAA Tournament appearances is the longest in Auburn history. He was also named the conference coach of the year in 1988.
Before the 2020 season, Smith was the only coach in Auburn history to have three-consecutive 20-win seasons.
The former ETSU head coach is currently the color commentator for the Tigers basketball team.