Oberlin College Basketball Staff Update

Oberlin College Head Men’s Basketball Coach Shiva Senthil announced the hiring of Matt Knezovic and Nate Smith to his staff. 

Knezovic, who will serve as Senthil’s top aide, comes to Oberlin after spending last season as an assistant coach at Clarendon College (TX). Additionally, Knezvoic spent the 2020-21 campaign at Daytona State College (FL) as an assistant coach and was previously a graduate assistant coach at Central Michigan University.  

Smith arrives in Oberlin after a long stint at NCAA Division I Sacramento State University, working his way up from video coordinator (2011-13), to director of basketball operations (2013-17), to assistant coach (2017-22). 

Coach Knezovic and Coach Smith bring tremendous value to our program and the greater Oberlin community,” Senthil said. “They both have significant experience mentoring young men and have a history of building high-level programs. They have worked for some great head coaches and I am excited to see them apply that experience here as we look to build Oberlin basketball.”

Over the last two seasons, Knezovic assisted in all facets of the program at both Clarendon and Daytona State ranging from recruiting, academic monitoring, player development, scouting, practice plans, and social media. At CMU, Knezovic worked heavily in the areas of scouting, player development, team travel, and film breakdown. 

His playing career included stops at Division II Mansfield University and Hartwick College, where he helped the Hawks win the 2016 Empire 8 Championship while being named the conference’s Sportsman of the Year. 

Knezovic earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Hartwick in 2018 before earning a master’s in leadership at Central Michigan in 2020. 

Smith has been a part of the two most successful seasons in program history at Sacramento State, which included a 16-win season in 2019-20. Since transitioning into an assistant coach role, he recruited and developed eight All-Big Sky selections. In 2020, he instructed the nation’s fifth-ranked scoring defense and the conference’s second-ranked unit in rebounding margin. 

Smith was also part of a staff that saw the 2014-15 squad post a 21-12 overall record and a 13-5 mark in the Big Sky Conference while securing the program’s first postseason appearance in the Division I era (1991-pres.), and the team’s first postseason victory in 53 years.

He graduated from Sacramento State in 2014 with a degree in kinesiology. He and his wife, Anna, have a daughter, Vivienne.


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