Smith Retires from Coaching, Henry to Become New Methodist University Men’s Basketball Coach

Methodist University Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Eavenson announced on Wednesday that Head Men’s Basketball Coach David Smith is retiring after 23 seasons at the helm for the Monarchs. Eavenson announced that Aloysius Henry will be promoted from Assistant Coach to the head position, effective July 1.

“David has had a tremendous impact on Methodist basketball the past 27 years as a player, an assistant coach, and as our head coach,” Eavenson said. “David leaves MU as the all-time wins leader in men’s basketball history winning six conference titles and making three NCAA appearances. David has done a fantastic job as our head coach, and we will miss him, but we are excited for him as he enters the next chapter in his life! We thank David for all he has done for Methodist University, our basketball program, and our athletic department and wish him well in retirement.”

Prior to coaching, Smith was no stranger to MU as he attended the school and was a member of the Monarch basketball team from 1977 to 1981. During his freshman year, the team won the Dixie Intercollegiate Athletic Conference under Head Coach Joe Miller. Known for his passing abilities, Smith set — at the time — the single-season record for assists (132) his senior year and finished his career with 275, which ranks seventh in program history.

Following his time as a student, Smith spent a year in graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before going overseas to play professionally in England with the Derby Rams for a season. He would return to the states and begin his coaching career at the high school level for several years in North Carolina and Florida.

Smith returned to the green and gold in 1995 when he was hired as an assistant varsity coach/head junior varsity coach under Methodist Athletics Hall of Famer Bob McEvoy. Smith worked under McEvoy for four years before taking over the reins starting with the 1999-2000 season.

Smith would have a fantastic coaching career and walks away with 279 victories, the most wins by a men’s basketball coach at Methodist. During his tenure, he coached nine 15-plus-win seasons. The two-time coach of the year won six regular season championships, three conference tournament championships and made three NCAA Division III tournament appearances.

He also coached 38 All-Conference players, two All-Region players, one conference Player of the Year, and one conference Rookie of the Year winner.

“My passion has been Methodist basketball since 1977, when I was a student-athlete,” Smith said. “To return to your alma mater and coach is a dream that many people have but few can fulfill. I have been very lucky. The players that have played for me and the coaches that I’ve worked with the last 27 years are the life blood of this program and I am confident that will continue with Aloysius (Lo) Henry taking over. I must give a big thank you to Bob McEvoy and Dr. M. Elton Hendricks (former MU president) for hiring me as the head coach in 1999. I hope I was the right person for the job. We had a good run and now it is time for me to move on to my other passion (my wife Corinne, my daughter Gabrielle, my grandson Jaylen, and my granddaughter Zelma). Green Gold, You Know.”

Henry, who has served as an assistant under Smith since the summer of 2015, will begin his head coaching career starting with the 2022-23 season. He is a 2012 graduate of University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a degree in Economics. Henry played two seasons for the Spartans after going the junior college route at Three Rivers College.

“Aloysius has done an excellent job as our assistant coach the past seven years and we are excited to have him become our next Head Men’s Basketball Coach,” Eavenson said. “We have a rich tradition of success in our men’s basketball program and we look forward to a bright future under his leadership!”

While at Three Rivers, he helped get his team to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) national championship game and was an All-Conference selection his final year there, after averaging 11.5 points and 7.3 rebounds. During his time at UNC Greensboro, he played in 63 games while making 36 starts averaged 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds.

After graduating, Henry played one season of professional basketball in the Baltic League as a member of Estonia’s KK Parnu before returning stateside and coach the Cape Fear girls’ varsity team for the 2014-15 season.

“I’m so excited and honored to be the next men’s basketball coach at Methodist University,” Henry said. “This is truly my dream job! I would like to thank Dave Eavenson and DeeDee Jarman (MU’s Deputy Director of Athletics) for believing in me, and also David Smith for mentoring me these past seven years as his assistant. I’m eager to take over as the head coach and make positive changes for the men’s basketball program. Go Monarchs!”