MARYVILLE, Mo. — Michael Smith has been named the new women’s basketball coach at Northwest Missouri State.
He will be formally introduced at a press conference at 2:30 p.m. Monday.
Smith, 39, returns to Northwest after five seasons as the basketball coach at Truman State, where he posted a 68-68 record. A native of Sturgeon, Mo., Smith spent from 1996-98 as a graduate assistant for the Bearcats under the late Wayne Winstead, the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach at Northwest.
“Michael has quickly proven himself as one of the top women’s basketball coaches in the MIAA,” Athletic director Mel Tjeerdsma said. “Not only is he a great basketball coach but he understands the culture of Northwest and we are excited for him to return as our head coach.”
During Smith’s tenure at Truman State, the Bulldogs increased their win total each season and advanced to the MIAA tournament the last three seasons. He helped lead the Bulldogs from the bottom of the conference with an 8-19 record in his first season to a 20-6 record in 2012-13, including 11 weeks ranked in the WBCA Top 25 Poll. It was the most wins at Truman since the 1998-99 season as Truman State narrowly missed the program’s first NCAA tournament appearance since the 1999-2000 campaign.
The Bulldogs had nine players earn all-conference honors, and his basketball teams have shined in the classroom as well. Truman State finished sixth in Division II following the 2010-11 season in cumulative grade-point average with a team GPA of 3.57 and all 13 team members posted a cumulative GPA of 2.95 or higher, with nine surpassing the 3.30 mark. Three team members also earned the MIAA’s Academic Excellence Award for earning a 4.00 GPA.
“The last few weeks I have been able to learn more about Michael, his values, principles and the respect his players and peers have for him,” Tjeerdsma added. “The dedication he has for women’s basketball and the desire to see his players succeed on the court and in the classroom leaves no question that he will be a perfect fit.”
After his time at at Northwest, Smith served as an assistant coach at Angelo State (Texas) from 1998 to 2002.
Smith received his Bachelor of Science from Central Methodist in 1996 with an emphasis in physical education and health. He earned his master’s degree from Northwest in 1998 in physical education and health as well.
Smith and his wife Melanie have two sons, Cooper and Devin.