Smith named Assistant Basketball Coach at Tuskegee

 Tuskegee men’s basketball head coach Benjy Taylor announced Monday the hiring of Mike Smith as assistant coach for the 2023-24 season.

Smith brings nearly 20 years of coaching experience to the Golden Tiger program after spending the past five seasons as an assistant at NAIA member Dalton State. He has also previously made stops at Southeastern Louisiana, Centenary, Mississippi Valley State, Jacksonville State, Kennesaw State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Lawson State, and Alabama A&M.

He spent the 2013-2015 seasons as head coach at Lawson State CC, including being awarded the Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Coach of the Year award during the 2013-2014 season. Smith also has experience in the high school arena, spending the 2017-18 season as the head coach at Mae Jemison High School in Huntsville, Ala. 

Smith brings an accomplished background as a coach to Tuskegee. He was part of a University of New Orleans squad that finished the 1986-87 regular season 26-4 and ranked #16 in the country earning the #7-seed in the Southeast Region of the NCAA Tournament. The Privateers would go on to defeat #10-seed BYU, before losing to #2-seed Alabama in the second round. 

The next season UNO would win the American South Conference regular season championship and continue on to play in the NIT where they would lose their first-round matchup with eventually semifinalist, Colorado State. 

After college, Smith would transition to a professional career overseas that spanned seven seasons and took him to Japan, Austria, Turkey, Belgium, Finland, and The Netherlands. He led the Turkish League in rebounds per game during the 92-93 season with 15.6, while also averaging 19.9 points per contest. 

Upon entering the coaching ranks, he would strike the eye of another up-and-coming coach at Southeastern Louisiana, who was an assistant at UNO when Smith was a player, current Texas A&M Head Coach Billy Kennedy. Smith would assist Kennedy during the 03-04 season in which time the Lions went 20-6 and won the Southland Conference regular season championship. 

Smith was also successful in assisting James Green who was the Head Coach at Mississippi Valley at the time to Coach of the year Honors in the 2006-07 season Southwestern Athletic Conference as well as a Regular season Championship and earned a trip to the National Invitation Tournament. While with Coach Green the following season 2007-08 they won the Southwestern Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship earing a trip to the NCAA tournament. 

A native of Hattiesburg, Miss., he received a BA in Communications with a minor in Sociology from University of New Orleans in 1990 and a MS in Education Leadership from then William Carey College in 2003. He is a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the Black Coaches Association, and in 2011, was selected to participate in the BCA/NCAA Achieving Coaching Excellence Program.

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