Craig Smith
Smith in 2017
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamUtah
ConferencePac-12
Record0–0 (–)
Biographical details
Born (1972-12-14) December 14, 1972 (age 48)
Stephen, Minnesota
Alma materUniversity of North Dakota
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1996–1997Mayville State (assistant)
1997–1998Northern State (GA)
1998–2001Minot State (assistant)
2001–2004North Dakota State (assistant)
2004–2007Mayville State
2007–2008Colorado State (dir. of ops.)
2008–2012Colorado State (assistant)
2012–2014Nebraska (assistant)
2014–2018South Dakota
2018–2021Utah State
2021–presentUtah
Head coaching record
Overall225–107 (.678)
Accomplishments and honors
Championships
Awards
  • NAIA Division II Coach of the Year (2007)
  • DAC Coach of the Year (2006, 2007)
  • Summit League Coach of the Year (2017)
  • Mountain West Coach of the Year (2019)

Craig Francis Smith (born December 14, 1972) is an American college basketball coach who is currently the men's basketball head coach at Utah. A member of Tim Miles' coaching tree, Smith served as an assistant for Miles at four schools – Mayville State, North Dakota State, Colorado State, and Nebraska. Smith was also the head coach at Mayville State from 2004 to 2007, at South Dakota from 2014 to 2018, and at Utah State from 2018 to 2021.

Early life and education

Born in Stephen, Minnesota, Smith graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in secondary education and Northern State University in South Dakota with a master's degree in education in 1999.[1][2]

Coaching career

Beginnings as assistant coach (1996–2004)

Smith began his coaching career in 1996 as an assistant coach for one season at Mayville State University, an NAIA school in North Dakota. This was the first of several coaching roles under Tim Miles.[3][4]

In 1997, Smith enrolled in graduate school at Northern State, an NCAA Division II school in South Dakota, and became a graduate assistant with its men's basketball team.[3] Returning to North Dakota, Smith was an assistant coach at Minot State from 1998 to 2001.[3]

In 2001, Smith reunited with Miles at then-NCAA Division II North Dakota State, where he was an assistant coach and director of operations for three seasons.[5][2]

Mayville State (2004–2007)

After three seasons at North Dakota State, Smith returned to Mayville State, this time as head coach in 2004. Inheriting a team that had one win in the previous season, Smith led the Comets to 17 wins and a berth in the NAIA Division II Tournament in his first season of 2004–05.[1]

Smith's second season as Mayville State head coach in 2005–06 had a 28–6 record, good enough to break the record for most wins in program history. Mayville won the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) regular season and conference titles and qualified for the NAIA Tournament for the second straight season, this time making the quarterfinals.[6] With a 27–9 record in Smith's final season 2006–07, Mayville State won both DAC titles again and made the championship round of the NAIA tournament as a no. 13 seed. Smith won NAIA Division II Coach of the Year honors in 2007 and DAC Coach of the Year Honors in 2006 and 2007.[6]

Assistant coach at Colorado State and Nebraska (2007–2014)

Smith got his first NCAA Division I job on April 10, 2007 as director of operations at Colorado State, his third association with Tim Miles.[7] Miles promoted Smith to a full assistant coach in 2008.[6] During his time at Colorado State, Smith helped the team qualify for the 2010 CBI, 2011 NIT, and 2012 NCAA Tournament.[3]

On April 25, 2012, Smith followed Miles to Nebraska after Miles took the head coaching job there.[8] Smith helped Nebraska make the 2014 NCAA Tournament.[3]

South Dakota (2014–2018)

Smith became a head coach again on March 24, 2014, when South Dakota athletic director David Herbster named Smith men's basketball head coach.[9] Following a 12–18 season in 2013–14, South Dakota went 17–16 (10–8 in Summit League play) in Smith's first season of 2014–15.[3][10] In 2016–17, Smith won Summit League Coach of the Year honors after South Dakota won the Summit League regular season title and qualified for the 2017 NIT.[3] Smith's last season in 2017 with the Coyotes ended 26–9, with a 2nd-place finish in the Summit League both in the regular season and conference tournament, the Coyotes would later fall to North Texas in the 2018 College Basketball Invitational first round 77-90.

Utah State (2018–2021)

On March 26, 2018, Smith was announced as Utah State's new head coach after the firing of Tim Duryea.[11] In just his first season at the school, he led the Aggies to a share of the Mountain West regular-season title, as well as the tournament title. This performance earned them their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2011. The team repeated as Mountain West tournament champions in 2020, though the NCAA tournament was cancelled amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Smith earned his third consecutive NCAA tournament appearance with the Aggies with an at-large bid.

Utah (2021-present)

Smith was hired to be the new head coach of the Utah Utes men's basketball team on March 27, 2021.

Head coaching record

Statistics overview
Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Mayville State Comets (Dakota Athletic Conference) (2004–2007)
2004–05 Mayville State 17–14 11–7 3rd[12] NAIA D-II First Round
2005–06 Mayville State 28–6 12–2 1st[13] NAIA D-II Quarterfinals
2006–07 Mayville State 27–9 11–3 1st NAIA D-II Runner-Up
Mayville State: 72–29 (.713) 34–12 (.739)
South Dakota Coyotes (Summit League) (2014–2018)
2014–15 South Dakota 17–16 9–7 T–4th
2015–16 South Dakota 14–18 5–11 8th
2016–17 South Dakota 22–12 12–4 1st NIT First Round
2017–18 South Dakota 26–9 11–3 2nd CBI First Round
South Dakota: 79–55 (.590) 37–25 (.597)
Utah State Aggies (Mountain West Conference) (2018–2021)
2018–19 Utah State 28–7 15–3 T–1st NCAA Division I First Round
2019–20 Utah State 26–8 12–6 T–2nd NCAA Division I*
2020–21 Utah State 20–9 15–4 2nd NCAA Division I First Round
Utah State: 74–24 (.755) 42–13 (.764)

* 2020 NCAA Tournament cancelled

Utah Utes (Pac-12 Conference) (2021–present)
2021–22 Utah 0–0 0–0
Utah: 0–0 (–) 0–0 (–)
Total: 225–108 (.676)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

References

  1. ^ a b "Men's Basketball Coaches". Mayville State University. Archived from the original on January 4, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Craig Smith, Assistant Coach". North Dakota State University. Archived from the original on March 15, 2004. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Craig Smith". University of South Dakota Athletics. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  4. ^ Nelson, Wayne (May 4, 2012). "Miles, Smith hope to turn around another team". Associated Press. Retrieved January 28, 2018. Originally published in the Grand Forks Herald on April 29, 2012 as "From Mayville to the Big Ten."
  5. ^ "Craig Smith". University of Nebraska Athletics. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c "Craig Smith". Colorado State University Athletics. Archived from the original on September 9, 2015. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "CSU Adds Three to Men's Basketball Staff". Colorado State University Athletics. April 10, 2007. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
  8. ^ "Smith Joins Husker Basketball Staff". April 25, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Garry, Mick (19 November 2015). "Confident Craig Smith takes hoops helm for USD". USA Today. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  10. ^ "South Dakota Coyotes Index".
  11. ^ Garry, Mick (March 26, 2018). "South Dakota's Craig Smith named men's basketball coach at Utah State". Sioux Falls Argus Leader. Retrieved March 26, 2018.
  12. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20050324025724/http://dac10.org:80/mbb.htm
  13. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20060518045801/http://www.dakotaac.org:80/mbb.htm