Arizona State hires Indiana’s Tracy Smith as new head coach
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State has hired Indiana head coach Tracy Smith as its fifth head coach, pending approval by the Arizona Board of Regents, Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson announced Tuesday.
Smith earned National Coach of the Year honors and was a unanimous choice for Big Ten Coach of the Year after he led IU to the school's only College World Series appearance in 2013.
“His accomplishments and accolades on the field speak for themselves, and his career has been defined by class, dignity and integrity,” Anderson said. “He will be a great fit within the ASU family, our baseball community and our current student-athletes, and we can’t wait for the new era of Sun Devil Baseball to begin under Tracy’s guidance.”
Sun Devil Athletics will introduce Smith at a formal press conference on Thursday.
Smith comes to Tempe with 18 years of experience as a collegiate head coach, including nine at Miami (Ohio) and nine at IU, where he was two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year. He led both programs to a pair of NCAA regional appearances and has more than 600 career victories.
He tallied more than 40 wins in each of the past two seasons at IU and led the Hoosiers to consecutive Big Ten Conference championships for the first time in school history. IU won the Big Ten regular season and B1G Tournament title in 2013, marking the school’s first regular-season conference championship since 1949 and the first outright crown since 1932, and advanced to the 2013 College World Series, which ended the Big Ten’s 29-year CWS absence.
Smith took an IU program that had finished 10th in the Big Ten six times in an eight-year stretch between 2000 and '07, and led the Hoosiers to an NCAA regional in 2009 and to the College World Series in 2013. IU notched a program-best 21 conference wins in 2014 and secured eight first-team All-Big Ten selections to tie a conference mark for most first team honorees from one school.
Smith has established a reputation of evaluating and developing talent as more than 40 student-athletes since 2000 improved their stock in the Major League Baseball Draft under Smith’s tutelage, including four who became first-round draft picks after going undrafted out of high school.
In 18 total years as a head coach, Smith has seen 54 of his players selected in the MLB Draft, including 22 in the first 10 rounds. He has mentored 24 Major League Baseball draft picks during the past six seasons, including the fourth overall pick in the 2014 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft (Kyle Schwarber) and three first-round selections in the 2009 MLB June Draft (Eric Arnett, Josh Phegley, Matt Bashore).
An accomplished fundraiser, Smith played a huge role in facility upgrades at both IU and Miami (Ohio) and was instrumental in the approval and design of both Miami's Stanley G. McKie Field at Joseph P. Hayden Jr. Park and Indiana's Bart Kaufman Field.
Smith’s Academic Progress Rate as a head coach increased each season until it reached a perfect 1,000 in two-year stretch between 2008-10.
IU saw eight players on 12 occasions be named All-Americans under Smith, including four in 2014, which was the highest total in program history and the second consecutive season that IU produced three or more All-Americans.
Smith mentored two Big Ten Players of the Year, three Big Ten Pitchers of the Year and a pair of Big Ten Freshman of the Year in nine seasons at IU, and at least one Hoosier earned Freshman All-America honors in six of the past seven seasons in Bloomington.
He has landed three players on the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and mentored numerous players at all positions, including outfielder Alex Dickerson, who was named Big Ten Player of the Year and won the Big Ten Triple Crown in 2010, right-handed pitcher Aaron Slegers, who was named 2013 Big Ten Pitcher of the Year, and catcher Kyle Schwarber, who was named an All-American by five major college baseball groups in 2014.
In nine years at the helm of the RedHawks baseball program, Smith compiled eight consecutive 30-win seasons, two NCAA regional appearances and advanced to the Mid-American Conference tournament finals six times.
He began his coaching career as head coach at Miami-Middletown in 1990, served as an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) from 1993-94 and was the pitching coach at IU from 1995-96.
A four-year letterwinner at Miami (Ohio), Smith was a pitcher and an infielder for the RedHawks, and played three minor league seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization. He also participated in 1992 Major League Scouting Bureau's Professional Scout School as a representative of the Cubs.