May 22, 2002
BERKELEY - Barb Smith, a former head coach at San Diego State, has been named assistant women's basketball coach at the University of California, head coach Caren Horstmeyer announced Wednesday.
"We are thrilled to be adding someone with Barb's vast coaching experience to our staff," said Horstmeyer. "Barb is extremely well-liked and works well with everyone. She has a presence about her that makes players want to learn and to play for her. As an assistant, she helped build Colorado into the power it is today, and we're confident she will help our program continue to grow."
Smith's responsibilities at Cal will include assisting with recruiting, designing game strategies and working with the development of the guards. She replaces Shaunice Warr, who has left the Golden Bear program to pursue other opportunities.
Smith, 38, comes to Cal after posting a 49-86 record in five seasons at the helm at San Diego State. Under Smith's guidance, the Aztecs had some key moments on and off the court. Her 1998-99 team had the highest average team GPA among all of the Aztecs' athletic teams that year, and she led SDSU to some significant victories, including wins over Cal, Oregon State, Kansas State and Colorado State. Active in the community, Smith was honored this year as San Diego's Consensus Organizer of the Year.
Prior to being hired at San Diego State in 1997, Smith spent nine seasons as Colorado's top assistant and recruiting coordinator. During her time in Boulder, she helped build the Buffaloes into one of the nation's top programs, with the team averaging over 24 wins a season from 1988-97. Colorado became a familiar fixture in the NCAA Tournament during Smith's tenure, earning eight bids to the Big Dance and advancing as far as the Elite Eight in 1993 and '95. Colorado also was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation during the 1994-95 and 1995-96 campaigns.
Smith developed a reputation as an outstanding recruiter while at Colorado. In her last four years at CU, three of the school's recruiting classes were ranked in the top 10 nationally, which included the third-best class in 1996.
The Perrysburg, Ohio, native is active on the national scene, as she is currently on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Board of Directors.
While earning her master's degree in business administration, Smith began her coaching career in 1987 as a graduate assistant at Iona College in New Rochelle, N.Y. Two years later, she began her stint at Colorado.
A 1986 graduate of Ohio State with a bachelor's degree in health education, Smith was a walk-on with the Buckeyes' 1982-83 team, but by the end of the season, she had earned the starting nod at point guard and a scholarship for the remainder of her eligibility. The Academic All-Big Ten selection led Ohio State to four Big Ten titles and three NCAA appearances.
In Smith's 20 seasons as a player and coach, she has experienced 11 seasons with at least 20 wins.