Utah hires Craig Smith from Utah State as next head coach
Utah is hiring Craig Smith as its next head men’s basketball coach, the school announced on Saturday. Smith has been to two NCAA Tournaments (would have been three) in three years at Utah State.
“Craig Smith brings incredible energy and passion, and a proven record of success,” AD Mark Harlan said in the release. “I’m thrilled to have him lead our men’s basketball program, and look forward to our student-athletes experiencing his incredible work ethic, dedication to being a teacher of the game, and his ability to relate with his players and help them achieve their greatest potential.”
Smith is a Minnesota-native who spent the majority of his coaching career working under Tim Miles before becoming the head coach at South Dakota in 2014. Went to one NIT and one CBI with the Coyotes before he was hired by Utah State in 2018. Smith was also the head coach at NAIA Mayville State (ND) from 2004-07 and finished as 2007 NAIA D-II National Runner-up.
“My family and I are thrilled to join the University of Utah and the community of Salt Lake City,” Smith said. “After visiting with Mark, it became clear that our visions for Utah Basketball were aligned. This program has a rich tradition of excellence in the history of college basketball. Our facilities are state-of-the-art and first-class in every way. Our fan base has tremendous energy, knowledge and passion. We can’t wait to pack the Huntsman Center, feed off the energy of The MUSS and bring a consistent winner back to the U!”
Utah parted ways with former head coach Larry Krystkowiak earlier this month after five-straight years without a NCAA Tournament bid.
Looking ahead for Utah State, one candidate that jumps out immediately is Miles. He has been out of coaching for the last two years but had a lot of success as the head coach at Colorado State and North Dakota State. Other names include Dixie State head coach Jon Judkins, an SLC-native who played for the Aggies, and current Utah State assistant coach Austin Hansen.
credit to Utah Athletics for the image