Men's College BB: Former St. Mary's Assistant Accepts Head Position at Columbia
On what was a beautiful summer like day on Columbia's prestigious campus Wednesday, an even warmer welcoming was taking place inside its infamous Levien Gymnasium.
Just three weeks and 150 applicants later, Columbia had found its new head coach, and boy, did they find a good one.
Former St. Mary's associate head coach, Kyle Smith left his position of nine years with the Gaels, for a head coaching position at a school that has been in somewhat of a rut.
For the past seven years Columbia's coach was Joe Jones.
Jones was an amazing leader who came to Columbia on the heels of a two win season.
He has built a great foundation, and probably would have won an Ivy League title sometime during the past three years had it not been for that amazing run that Cornell put together.
Ironically enough, Jones left for the associate head coaching position at Boston College, under the leadership of now-former Cornell coach, Steve Donahue.
So when Kyle Smith came knocking on Columbia's door, a man with great recruiting skills, great basketball skills, and a whole lot of good experience, it would be hard to turn him down.
In fact, the only concern with Smith is that he has few ties with the New York area, which may affect his recruiting ability.
Smith was right there for all 81 of the Gaels wins during the past three seasons, two of which came in the NCAA tournament this past season.
He too came into his coaching position with a team that had won only two games the previous year.
The addition of Smith has made headlines, however, he was just a fish in the sea this offseason in the metropolitan area.
Schools like Hofstra (twice), Rutgers, Wagner, St. Francis, St. John's, Iona, Seton Hall, and Fordham, have all replaced their coaches.
Columbia is the fourth Ivy League school to announce a new official head coach this offseason.
However, Columbia is hoping to stand out in the years to come.
Say's Smith, "I look forward to the challenge of building and Ivy League championship men's basketball program at Columbia".
Good luck, Coach Smith.
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