Smith hired as Assistant Basketball Coach at New Orleans

Photo Courtesy UNO Athletics

 University of New Orleans head men’s basketball coach Mark Slessinger has announced the hiring of Jay Smith as an assistant coach. Smith comes to the Privateers after serving as the head coach of Wiley College for the past two seasons.

“Coach Slessinger has been a mentor to me throughout my career,” said Smith. “It is an honor to join his staff. The opportunity to coach at the Division I ranks at such a great institution coupled with this amazing city creates a GREAT situation here! I’m beyond thankful and blessed.”

“We are excited to welcome Jay to our dynamic university and the beloved city,” said Slessinger. “This is a very exciting time for our program, the department, and the university.”

Slessinger was impressed by coach Smith’s enthusiasm and selflessness for over a decade.

“I met Jay in 2016 when he was a young coach at Comeaux High School,” said Slessinger. “It was evident then that he possessed a great passion for the game. I was impressed with his vision of helping young people.”

As the leader of the men’s basketball program at Wiley, Smith produced five all-conference student-athletes and two NAIA All-Americans.

Prior to his stint in Marshall, Texas, Smith spent three seasons as the director of player development at LSU-Alexandria. The team won three Red River Athletic Conference regular season championships and two tournament titles. Smith was named one of Top 25 Small College Assistant Coaches after LSUA went 86-9 in its first three years as a program. The Generals appeared in the Fab Four in 2017 with a record of 34-1.

“During his professional progression, Jay has been able to see success at the high school, college, and grassroots basketball levels,” said Slessinger. “He has used his relationships in the state of Louisiana in his recruiting efforts that helped lead to success at Wiley and LSU-Alexandria.”

Smith spent eight seasons as an assistant at Comeaux High School in Lafayette. Smith led the club to 171 victories with one McDonald’s All-American.

A 2017 graduate of LSU-Alexandria, Smith has a son, Jailon.

Story Courtesy Kelvin Queliz, UNO Assistant AD for Communications & New Media

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