LEVELLAND — 33 years in the making.
42 national championships. 15 conference titles. Eight regional crowns.
When Joe Tubb accepted the Director of Athletics position at South Plains College in 1983, little did he know some three decades later he would be standing midcourt, surrounded by family, championship banners hovering above, adding yet another accolade to his name.
Hall of Famer.
Tubb was honored with his plaque into the Western Junior College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame on Thursday night at the Texan Dome, presented by Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of South Plains College. Standing next to his wife, Kathy Tubb, son Chad Tubb, daughter Lesli Spears, son-in-law Britt Spears, and grandson Kade, Tubb received a standing ovation from the South Plains College faithful, a moment he described as "surreal".
"When you come home, you're not sure you can come home, but when our family came back to Levelland, I believe my son was 12 and my daughter was eight, and South Plains College and the community of Levelland really embraced us," Tubb said. "It's very surreal to think we came back with two young children, and now here we are today. This is a tremendous honor, and I'm extremely humbled to be in with such a great group of people."
Twice selected as the National Athletic Director of the Year, first in 2006, and again in 2010, Tubb joins an elite class of former South Plains College coaches and players elected to the WJCAC Hall of Fame. Tubb joins the likes of Dennis Patton, Ron Mayberry, Bill Powell, Sheryl Swoopes, Bo Outlaw, Angie Braziel, Sally Kipyego, and Lisa Risinger.
A native of Levelland, Tubb was a member of the 1966-67 South Plains golf team under head coach Bill Powell. Tubb would then move on to West Texas A&M University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics with a minor in physical education. In 1981, Tubb earned a Master's degree in physical education from Sul Ross State University.
Before heading up the South Plains College athletic program, Tubb coached and taught math in high school for twelve years with stints at Palo Duro, Hereford, Shallowater, and Odessa High School. During this time, he was a head golf coach, assistant football coach, and a head basketball coach. After winning the 4-5A District Championship in basketball in 1983, and being named District Coach of the Year, he returned to his alma mater when he accepted the role of Director of Athletics in 1983.
"The WJCAC is the greatest conference in the country as far as community colleges go, and when you really look at who's in the hall of fame from our conference, it makes me extremely proud to be mentioned amongst some of those names who are much more accomplished than I am," Tubb said. "The community and South Plains College have been great to all of us, and Levelland started out as my home a long time ago, and it became my home again, and that makes me proud."
Tubb served as the Director of Region 5 from 1999-2009 and has been a member of NATYCAA since 1989. In April 2010, he was elected to serve as the NJCAA 1st Vice-President for men, a position he maintained until being elected President. In 2015, Tubb was awarded the NJCAA Appreciation Award for his many years of service. In 2016, he received the Levelland Distinguished Citizen Award from the George White District of the Boy Scouts of America.
Serving in multiple capacities over the years, Tubb was instrumental in the growth of two-year collegiate athletics. He was the recipient of the highest honor bestowed by the National Alliance of Two-Year Collegiate Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA) when he was presented the L. William Miller Award in June 2012.
"When you're in athletics for 45 years, and now, when there's no alarm ringing at six in the morning to wake you up, you get up and have coffee and think, what am I going to do today?" Tubb said. "I didn't have to do that for a long time, but I drive down here and these guys are still my friends, and I'll always support them and will always be a South Plains College Texan."