Tracy Smith to Head IU Baseball Program
June 22, 2005
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - After spending the last nine seasons at Miami (Ohio) University, Tracy Smith has been named the Indiana head baseball coach, IU Athletics Director Rick Greenspan announced today. Smith is the 23rd head coach in school history and replaces Bob Morgan, who resigned after 22 seasons on June 5.
In nine seasons at Miami, Smith completely changed the fortunes of the RedHawks after inheriting a 12-40 ballclub. Miami reached the Mid-American Conference tournament nine times, including six championship game appearances and the 2000 and 2005 championship titles. Smith amassed a 317-220-1 (.589) career record and a Mid-American Conference regular-season mark of 152-95 (.615). He led the RedHawks to eight straight 30-win seasons, marking only the second time in program history that Miami accomplished that feat, and he finished his career in Oxford third on the all-time wins list.
Smith is no stranger to Bloomington as he spent two seasons (1995 and 1996) as the pitching coach with the Cream and Crimson. In Smith's final season, the Hoosiers boasted the lowest ERA in the Big Ten, won the Big Ten tournament and advanced to the 1996 NCAA Midwest Regional. Three of Smith's pitchers were chosen in the major league draft in 1996.
Greenspan said that the objective of the Hoosiers' diligent national search was to find a coach with established credentials in all facets of a successful program - on the field, in recruiting, compliance and academics.
"Tracy Smith is a proven winner," Greenspan said. "His assistant coaching resume shows his background in player development, and we were most impressed with how he rejuvenated Miami's baseball program. Not only do his teams contend for conference titles and postseason appearances, but also they are also successful in the classroom. A number of his former players are playing professional baseball. He and I share the same beliefs that a competitive non-league schedule will pay dividends in Big Ten and postseason play, and that the program needs to have a strong presence in the community. Tracy is a great fit here at IU."
"My family and I appreciate and are thrilled for the opportunity to come back to IU and to Bloomington," Smith said. "The potential of this program excites me. There are not many places that I would leave my alma mater for, and we would not be coming over here if I did not think we could build this into one of the top baseball programs in the country."
Smith led the RedHawks to a 45-18 (.714) mark in 2005, his second 40-win season (40 wins in 2000), and matched the school record for victories in a season as well as posting the 12th-best winning percentage in the nation. Miami captured the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament championships and advanced to the NCAA tournament, its second trip to the postseason under Smith's tutelage, where it set an NCAA Regional record with 35 runs in a 35-8 victory over Quinnipiac.
In 2005, the RedHawks ranked among the nation's top 20 in ERA (16th, 3.33), triples per game (19th, 0.38), and stolen bases per game (16th, 2.08). In addition, two-sport athlete Ryne Robinson ranked among the top 20 in the nation in triples and stolen bases.
Miami finished the season with a 16-6 mark on the road, the fifth-best record away from home in the NCAA, with all four teams holding better ledgers ranked in the top 25. The RedHawks also rebounded from an 8-9 start to their campaign, winning 37 of their final 46 games.
Under Smith, Miami has not shied away from facing stiff competition. During non-league play in 2004-05 combined, the RedHawks have played a total of eight NCAA tournament teams, including taking two of three games from nationally-ranked Alabama this past season in Tuscaloosa, Ala. This marked the Crimson Tide's first home, non-league series loss since 1993.
Smith has also been instrumental in Miami's facility fundraising effort. In 2002, the RedHawks opened a new chapter in its tradition-rich history with the debut of Stanley G. McKie Field at Joseph P. Hayden Jr. Park. McKie Field boasts a fully operational press box, a 12-seat luxury suite, two heated dugouts with bathrooms, the Smokey Alston luxury room, two separate bullpens from the field, as well as an indoor hitting facility in left-field foul territory. The field can accommodate over 1000 fans easily and has a picnic area located out of play down the right-field line.
After capturing the program's first regular-season title in 22 years, Miami notched a program-record eight players on the 2005 all-conference teams, breaking the record six RedHawks that were selected in 2003. Additionally, Smith was tabbed the 2005 Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year.
During Smith's era, Miami players have been named to the All-MAC first team 16 times, as well as collecting five All-America selections. In addition, 19 student-athletes have been recognized as Academic All-MAC selections, including 2000 & 2001 Verizon Academic All-Americans Tom Yost and Luke Reinhart, respectively.
Over the past five years, Smith has mentored 20 different RedHawks who have either been drafted or signed Major League Baseball free agent contracts, including two in 2005. Six players have been drafted in the top-10 rounds of the draft, which includes one second-round pick, two fifth-round selections, one sixth-, one eighth- and one ninth-round pick. In the last five years, Miami has the second-highest number of top-ten picks in the conference.
The 2000 Ohio College Coach of the Year, Smith directed the 2000 squad to its first MAC tournament Championship since 1983. The RedHawks also went on to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1983, playing at the Arizona State Regional, where they were able to notch a victory over Creighton.
A four-year letterwinner from 1985 through 1988, Smith was a shortstop, third baseman and pitcher for the RedHawks. In 1988, Smith captained the team to a 37-22 mark, the sixth-highest single-season win total in Miami baseball history.
After graduation, Smith spent three seasons as a minor league pitcher and infielder in the Chicago Cubs organization from 1988-1990.
Smith began his coaching career in 1990 as head coach at the Miami University-Middletown campus. In the fall of 1992, Smith participated in the Major League Scouting Bureau's Professional Scout School as a representative of the Chicago Cubs.
During the 1993 and 1994 seasons, Smith was an assistant coach at Miami. Over that span, Smith served as hitting instructor and worked with infielders and outfielders before heading to Bloomington.
Smith, 39, a native of Kentland, Ind., earned his bachelor's degree in education from Miami in 1989 and completed a master's degree in sport organization in 1992.
Tracy and his wife, Jaime, have three sons, Casey (14), Ty (11), and Jack (7).
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING ABOUT Tracy Smith
"Tracy is outstanding, one of the finest young coaches in the country. Indiana has hired a gem. I have nothing but respect for Tracy both professionally and personally. He's a good colleague, and he and his wife, Jamie, are wonderful additions to Indiana Athletics and the Bloomington community."
Tracy did an outstanding job at Miami. He is a quality hire, an outstanding young man, an excellent coach, and he will do an outstanding job for Indiana University."
"I've known Tracy since his playing days and was on the committee that recommended him to be Miami's head coach. I think Tracy is a very astute baseball man. I think he is a good recruiter, but the most important thing is he is a good human being. He is a credit to any university he works with."
"I have known Tracy for a long time. He is a good friend of mine. I have a great deal of respect for him, and he is an outstanding college baseball coach. I know he will do a good job at Indiana."
"We wish Tracy nothing but the best as he makes the next step in his career. He put his heart and soul into Miami Baseball for the past nine years, and we look forward to building upon the foundation of success he established. He is dedicated to recruiting quality student-athletes of great character, which will undoubtedly serve him well in Bloomington. Tracy and his family became a integral part of the Miami community and they will certainly be missed."
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