"I'm a coach. I have no other skills," he said. "I can barely spell computer and all I do on my phone is talk. When you're done something for 43 years, that's what you know."
Before his stint at Bellarmine, Smith coached at Shippensburg and St. Joseph's College (Ind.). In fact, he founded the women's program at St. Joseph's in 1976 and led them to a 14-2 season. In his eight seasons in two stints there, his teams won three Great Lakes Valley Conference titles and two regional championships. Three times he was named the GLVC Coach of the Year.
The 1969 graduate of Indiana State University coached St. Joseph's for two seasons before moving to the men's side to serve as assistant for six seasons. He returned to guide the women's program in 1984 and coached it for six more years, the last three which went 82-10.
During his eight seasons at Shippensburg, the Raiders had four 20-win seasons and a combined record of 160-69. His most successful seasons were in 1989-90 with St. Joseph's (28-2) and 1997-98 with Shippensburg (28-4). His 1996 Shippensburg team was national runner-up, losing to North Dakota State in the NCAA Division II title game. His 1997-98 Raider team reached the Elite Eight.
Smith likes State's chances of reaching new levels for the program, despite the Yellow Jackets not winning more than 16 games in a season the last eight years and owning a 93-135 record during that time.
"It's in a great area, you're in the largest populated area of the state," Smith said. "You look at the men's program, it's won. Look at the baseball program and what they've done is amazing. The volleyball team and tennis team have been in the NCAA Tournament. Why not the women's basketball team?
"For whatever reason, the leadership they had hasn't gotten them there. The kids want to win, the kids want to turn the thing around."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.