Baylor fires 21-year coach Steve Smith on heels of fewest wins since '81
WACO, Texas -- Steve Smith, Baylor's coach the past 21 years, will not return as the program's head coach for the 2016 season.
"We are grateful for coach Smith's leadership of the Baylor baseball program and his many accomplishments over the last 21 seasons," vice president and director of athletics Ian McCaw said. "We wish him much success and happiness in his future endeavors."
Baylor finished 23-32 overall in 2015, its fewest wins since the 1981 season, but it did reach the Big 12 Baseball tournament for the 19th consecutive year where it went 2-2 and saw its season come to a close with Saturday's 4-0 loss to Texas.
Smith became Baylor's coach in 1995, and recorded an overall record of 744-523-1 in 21 seasons. He ranks as the winningest coach in program history and his 744 wins are the most of any Baylor coach in any sport.
Since winning the program's third Big 12 Conference title in 2012 en route to a 49-11 overall record and a 20-4 mark in league play, Smith's Bears have gone 76-88 overall (29-41 in Big 12 play).
A five-time Big 12 Coach of the Year selection, Smith guided Baylor to three of its five all-time conference titles (2000, '05 and '12), 13 NCAA regional appearances, four NCAA Super Regionals and one College World Series trip (2005) in his 21-year career. The 2006 Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame inductee served as President of the American Baseball Coaches Association in 2008 and was head coach of the 2005 USA Baseball National team.
Smith coached the first unanimous national player of the year in Division I history in Jason Jennings (1999), and also coached winners of the Golden Spikes, Dick Howser, Rotary Smith and Johnny Bench awards. His program produced 46 All-America selections, 31 All-Region honorees, six conference players of the year and 121 all-conference performers on the field. In the classroom Smith's players earned 13 CoSIDA Academic All-American honors, 39 CoSIDA Academic All-District awards and 159 Academic All-Conference citations.
A nationwide search for Smith's replacement will begin immediately according to McCaw.