Tubby Smith (left) and Pooh Williamson are pictured during their two-season run with the Memphis basketball program. Tulsa World file

Alvin “Pooh” Williamson – a former University of Tulsa assistant coach and basketball player – is returning to his home state.

Williamson was named to Oklahoma’s basketball coaching staff on Wednesday afternoon. The 45-year-old takes the vacancy left when Chris Crutchfield took a similar position at Arkansas.

"We're excited to welcome coach Williamson and his family," OU coach Lon Kruger said in a statement. "Throughout his career, Pooh has built his reputation as a good teacher of the game, strong recruiter and respected mentor. He has lived, played and coached in Oklahoma and will be a fantastic fit to our staff and family."

Williamson, a Beggs native, spent the past season as an assistant coach on Jim Larranaga’s staff at the University of Miami. Prior to that, he spent time on his mentor, Tubby Smith’s, staff at Texas Tech (2013-16) and Memphis (2016-18).

“I'm thrilled about this opportunity to come back into the Big 12 and work with such a high-caliber leader in coach Kruger,” Williamson said in a statement. “Having an opportunity to work with him and his staff at a program like Oklahoma enticed me a lot. I'm glad to be coming home to Oklahoma.”

Williamson was on John Phillips’ coaching staff at TU in 2001-04. He played for the Golden Hurricane in 1991-95 and was Smith’s first signee at the school.

Williamson was Tulsa’s interim head coach for 22 games during the 2004-05 season when Phillips stepped down on Christmas day. He led the Hurricane to a 7-15 mark during that time. TU and Williamson was also 5-13 in its final Western Athletic Conference season.

Williamson joins OU assistants Carlin Hartman (entering his third season) and recent hire Jim Molinari.

Williamson’s coaching career

(All as assistant unless noted)

1996-98: Washington State

1998-2000: Illinois State

2000-01: Tulane

2001-04: Tulsa

2004-05: Tulsa (interim head coach)

2005-07: Wichita State

2007-11: Texas A&M

2011-12: SMU

2012-13: TCU

2013-16: Texas Tech

2016-18: Memphis

2018-19: Miami

Eric Bailey



Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

Sports Writer

Eric covers the University of Oklahoma football and men’s basketball teams. A Haskell Indian Nations University graduate, he has been a member of the Tulsa World sports staff for 12 years. Phone: 918-581-8391