D3 North Park opens; Smith takes D1 assistant job

After two seasons leading the North Park men’s basketball team, Sean Smith has accepted an assistant coaching job at a Division I institution. 

“I would like to thank Coach Sean Smith for his leadership over the past two years, said John Born, North Park’s Director of Athletics. “His hard work and dedication uplifted the men’s basketball program. Sean’s positive impact was not only witnessed within the team, but the entire athletic department. We wish him well on this new endeavor. He will be missed.”

Coach Smith guided the Vikings to a CCIW Tournament championship in 2023, finishing the season with a 24-6 record in his first year as a collegiate head coach. Smith was named the 2023 D3Hoops.com National Coach of the Year and D3Hoops.com Region 8 Coach of the Year after leading the Vikings to a Sweet Sixteen finish in his first-ever assignment as a collegiate head coach. 

“I have enjoyed every minute of my two years at North Park University!” said Coach Smith. “North Park is a special place with wonderful leadership that will continue to thrive. I am incredibly grateful to President Mary Surridge, Vice President Anthony Scola and our Athletic Director, John Born, for the trust and support they’ve given me. I cannot thank my staff enough for the work they have done over the past two years as they were a vital part of our success. To all our players – it has been an honor to be your coach and I look forward to years of friendship that will no doubt continue. While I am excited for the next chapter in my coaching career, I will certainly miss the people at North Park and I am forever thankful!”

Coach Smith led the Vikings to 24 wins (most since the 1986-87 season), 13 CCIW wins (most since 1990-91 season), the first CCIW Tournament win and Tournament championship win for NPU, the first NCAA playoff appearance since 1990, and concluded the 2022-23 season in the Sweet Sixteen, the first appearance since 1987. His Vikings also made 223 three-pointers (4th best in NPU history) and established new records in offensive rebounds (406), defensive rebounds (697), steals (376), steals per game (12.5), blocks (90), and turnover margin (+7.63).

Coach Smith has led the North Park Vikings with humility, integrity, and faith,” said Mary Surridge, North Park’s President. “He elevated the level of excellence and expectation for our program and reignited a winning tradition. As Sean’s career advances, we wish him the very best. North Park Men’s Basketball is focused on continued success in the classroom, community, and on the court. I am confident about the direction of this program and look forward to a bright future.”

An update on leadership for North Park Men’s Basketball will be announced soon.


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