Gene Smithson

Gene Smithson (born c. 1940)

Teams coached: Illinois State Redbirds, Wichita State Shockers
Illinois State record: 66-18 (.786)
Wichita State record: 155-81 (.657)
Overall record^: 221-99 (.691)

Career Accomplishments:

Coaching Career (head coach, unless noted):

1988-2003 Central Florida CC
1978-1986 Wichita State
1975-1978 Illinois State

Gene Smithson Facts

  • Gene Smithson
  • Born c. 1940
  • Alma Mater: North Central College (BA, 1961)
  • In three years as head coach at Illinois State (then Independent), Smithson was 66-18
    • He won 20, 22 and 24 games respectively and his 1977-78 team was ranked as high as #13 in the AP Poll
  • Hired by Wichita State in 1978, leading the Shockers for eight seasons
    • Compiled a 155-81 record and finished above .500 in all but his first and last seasons (both 14-14)
    • Won Missouri Valley titles in 1981 and 1983 and the Missouri Valley Tournament in 1985
    • Appeared in the postseason five times (three NIT and two NCAA) and reached the Sweet Sixteen in 1981
    • Fired in March 1986 amid NCAA probation, player defections and declining attendance
  • After a couple years out of coaching, Smithson became the head coach at Central Florida CC
    • Coached at the school for 15 years until his retirement in 2003
    • Inducted into Florida College System Activities Associate (FSCAA) Hall of Fame in 1998
      • Was named FSCAA Coach of the Year in 1996
  • In his retirement, Smithson still lives in Ocala, Florida

Gene Smithson Coaching Tree

  • Randy Smithson (Wichita State)


^ overall record includes head coaching positions at the NCAA Division I level only