Kyle Smith named Head Basketball Coach at Stanford

Kyle Smith has been named Stanford’s Anne and Tony Joseph Director of Men’s Basketball, as announced by Bernard Muir, the Jaquish and Kenninger Director of Athletics. Smith will be formally introduced at a press conference on Wednesday, March 26, at (Time TBD).

“The opportunity to serve as the head men’s basketball coach at Stanford is a dream come true, and I want to thank Bernard Muir for entrusting me with this opportunity,” Smith said. “From my perspective, Stanford has the resources and reputation to attract the ideal student-athlete who is seeking the character development aspects of what our basketball program will offer. Stanford has the capacity to provide a place where student-athletes can hone their leadership skills and intellect through hard work and team building. I am thrilled to try to provide that type of culture for an institution that prides itself on excellence in all areas.”

Smith heads to The Farm following a successful five-year stint at Washington State, where he went 94-71 overall, including a 25-10 mark and second-place finish in the Pac-12 in 2023-24. Smith holds a 258-193 career record across 14 seasons as a head coach, including six seasons at Columbia and three at San Francisco. Additionally, he spent 18 years as an assistant coach with stretches at Saint Mary’s (2001-10), Air Force (2000-01) and San Diego (1992-2000).

“I am extremely pleased to welcome Kyle and his family to Stanford,” Muir said. “Kyle has an impressive track record of improving results in the programs he has led, and we heard consistently throughout our search process that he leads with great character and integrity. I look forward to working alongside Kyle and I am excited for Cardinal student-athletes to experience his passionate leadership.”

The 2024 John R. Wooden Pac-12 Coach of the Year, Smith led the Cougars to a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the round of 32 with a victory over Drake in the opening round, while the postseason event was the seventh for Smith as a head coach and third with Washington State. The Cougars also reached the NIT semifinals in 2022 and earned a bid for a second consecutive season in 2023.

Smith was the first coach in Washington State history to post a .500 or better record in each of his first four seasons, doing so after taking over a program that was under .500 in each of the previous seven campaigns.

A talented coach known for expertise in analytics and player development, Smith’s tutelage has included two NBA Draft selections in CJ Elleby (2020) and Mouhamed Gueye (2023) and Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Myles Rice (2024), while three Cougars earned All-Pac-12 recognition this season. Smith also coached San Francisco’s Jamaree Bouyea, who made his NBA debut in 2023, and mentored a series of professional athletes as an assistant coach, including NBA players Matthew Dellavedova and Patty Mills at Saint Mary’s.

Smith has also seen success on the recruiting trail, landing two top-60 classes, the highest for Washington State in over a decade. He signed a top-100 prospect to Pullman in the class of 2022, the first for the program since Klay Thompson in 2008.

Prior to Smith’s tenure at Washington State, he led San Francisco to a 63-40 record, including 20 wins or more in each season and two postseason appearances. His three straight 20-win seasons marked just the fourth time in school history that a USF coach accomplished the feat and the first time in nearly 40 years. Smith produced seven All-WCC picks, paced by two-time All-WCC first team selection Frankie Ferrari.

Preceding his time in the Bay Area, he served as the head coach at Columbia where he put together a 101-82 overall mark, including a CIT Championship in his final season. Smith mentored 10 All-Ivy League selections over his six seasons at Columbia, led by Maodo Lo, a two-time first team honoree and the second-leading scorer in school history.

Smith played an integral role in building the Gaels’ program into a perennial championship contender in the West Coast Conference under head coach Randy Bennett. In his nine seasons in Moraga, the Gaels made three NCAA Tournament (2005, ’08, ’10) appearances and earned one NIT bid (2009). Saint Mary’s averaged 23 wins over Smith’s last six seasons on the staff, including an 81-20 record over his final three seasons. The 2009-10 team finished with a 28-6 record, advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Championship and was ranked 19th nationally in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.

During his one season at Air Force, Smith served as the Falcons’ offensive and recruiting coordinator and took a lead role with player development and scouting. He was instrumental in the recruitment of 2003-04 Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Nick Welch along with all-conference players Antoine Hood and A.J. Kuhle.

Before joining the Falcons, Smith served eight seasons as an assistant coach at San Diego from 1992-2000 under Hank Egan and Brad Holland. During his time at San Diego, Smith helped lead the Toreros to their second-highest win total in school history (20 in 1999-2000) and as associate head coach, orchestrated a defense that allowed the lowest opponent scoring average (62.6) in the West Coast Conference (62.6 in 1999-2000).

Born in El Paso, Texas, Smith graduated in 1992 from Hamilton College with a degree in English literature. He also played basketball and helped lead the Continentals to a 26-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in the nation for NCAA Division III as a junior. He shot a school-record 51.3 percent from three-point range and helped Hamilton to an Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) championship.

Smith earned a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of San Diego, where he began his coaching career.

Kyle and his wife, Katie, have three sons, Rocco, Bo, and Luke.

The hiring is contingent on the successful completion of a background check.

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