BasketballBig 12HiringWCC

Pacific hires Dave Smart, a Canadian collegiate coaching legend, as head coach

Pacific announced on Wednesday the hiring of Texas Tech assistant Dave Smart as the Tigers’ new head coach. Smart just completed his first year in Lubbock, but is more known for his 19 years as head coach at Carleton College in his native Canada, where he went 591-48 overall and won thirteen national championships.

“I could not be more excited than I am now to have Coach Smart join our Tigers family and lead our men’s basketball program,” said AD Adam Tschuor. “He is one of the most respected basketball minds in the world and someone who will not only show his energy and enthusiasm on the sidelines but in the community as well. As exciting as all of that is I am most energized by the possibilities Coach will bring to us from a recruiting standpoint. His connections worldwide are vast and will open pipelines to us not only unique to the history of Pacific Tigers basketball but to the college game as we know it.”

Smart, 57, first became the head coach at Carleton in 1999 and built a powerhouse that he ran through 2019 (with a brief sabbatical in 2015-16). He was named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Coach of the Year thirteen times and earned the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as the national Coach of the Year nine times.

He stepped away from coaching the Ravens in 2019 but continued to work at the school as Director of Basketball Operations, overseeing another national championship season in 2020. He also consulted with the Ottawa Senators of the NHL in 2019-20 and also spent one year as General Manager of the Ottawa Blackjacks, a new professional basketball team in the CEBL (Canada’s top league).

In addition to his duties at Carleton, Smart coached the Great Britain U20 national team in 2012 and then Canada’s U18 team at the 2018 FIBA Championships (runner-up finish to Team USA).

Smart made his move to the States in 2023, joining the inaugural staff of new Texas Tech head coach Grant McCasland. This will be his first head coaching job in the NCAA, but over his years at Carleton he faced off against (and often defeated) a number of American colleges taking offseason foreign tours.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the Tigers into a new era,” Smart said. “Adam and President Callahan have an ambitious and exciting vision for the program, and I thank them for entrusting me with the task of bringing that vision to life. I also want to thank Grant and everyone else at Texas Tech for the opportunity they gave me last season, which was a tremendous experience. Emily, Gabe, Theo, and I can’t wait to get to Stockton to put down roots and get to work.”

Smart takes over for Leonard Perry, who was let go earlier this month after going just 29-65 over three seasons. The Tigers were 6-25 overall in 2023-24 and finished a winless 0-16 in WCC play.


credit to Pacific Athletics for the image