Tracy Smith Announced as Michigan Baseball Coach

Tracy Smith Announced as Michigan Baseball Coach

7/3/2022 1:00:00 PM

// Kurt Svoboda

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Michigan Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics Warde Manuel announced Sunday (July 3) that former National Coach of the Year Tracy Smith has been named head baseball coach.

“We are excited to welcome Tracy Smith, his wife, Jaime, and their family, to U-M to lead our baseball program,” said Manuel. “Succinctly put, Tracy is one of the best collegiate baseball minds in the country. He is a tireless recruiter who can evaluate, project, and develop talent at the highest level of this sport.”

“My family and I are proud to join the University of Michigan family, and this storied Michigan baseball program,” said Smith. “Having competed on the field against the likes of Barry Larkin, Jim Abbott, Casey Close and many others, I am aware of the tremendous talent and tradition of this program. I would like to thank Warde Manuel, Rob Rademacher, the staff and our student-athletes for allowing me the opportunity to build upon the history of U-M baseball and the recent successes of my friend and colleague Erik Bakich. The standards in the Big Ten Conference and at the University of Michigan are set high, and I am honored to lead our next group of champions. Go Blue!”

Smith comes to Ann Arbor with 25 years of head coaching experience and 805 victories while producing 90 MLB Draft picks, including seven first-rounders and seven USA Baseball Collegiate National Team selections. One of just eight coaches all-time to bring three different Division I schools to the NCAA Tournament, Smith most recently led the Arizona State University baseball program between 2015-21 and advanced the Sun Devils to four NCAA Regional appearances in six seasons.

Smith earned National Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2013 after leading Indiana to the school’s only Men’s College World Series appearance in a 49-win campaign. The Hoosiers followed that performance with 44 victories in 2014 before Smith moved west to ASU. Before his time at Indiana, Smith led his alma mater, Miami University (Ohio), for nine seasons.

At Arizona State, Smith signed the nation’s top recruiting class in 2016, including eight players drafted by the Major League out of high school. His 2017 class was also rated in the Top-5 nationally and was the No. 1 class in the West region.

Among the 90 MLB Draft selections developed under Smith, a staggering 58 of them have come over his past eight seasons, including the No.1 overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft, Spencer Torkelson, two first-rounders in 2019 and 2020 (Hunter Bishop and Alika Williams, respectively), and the fourth overall pick in 2014 in Kyle Schwarber. In addition, three other first-round selections played under Smith’s tutelage in 2009 in Eric Arnett, Josh Phegley, and Matt Bashore.

Torkelson, already playing with the Tigers, was a two-time Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, given annually to the top player in college baseball. He was a unanimous All-America selection as both a freshman and sophomore and became the first Pac-12 player in history to be crowned the league home run champion in three consecutive seasons.

Despite the 2020 MLB Draft being shortened to five rounds from 40 due to the fallout from COVID-19, the Sun Devils made history as ASU’s five draft selections through the first four rounds marked a program record. The five selections in the 2020 MLB Draft were the most of any program. In addition, it was ASU’s third consecutive season with five draft picks and the fourth season in the last five years with the total.

In guiding Indiana to consecutive 40-win seasons in his final two campaigns in Bloomington, Smith secured back-to-back Big Ten championships for the first time in school history. The Hoosier’s title in 2013 was the school’s first since 1949 and its first outright title since 1932 en route to the No. 4 national seed, the first national seed in Big Ten history.

Smith mentored two Big Ten Players of the Year, three Big Ten Pitchers of the Year, and a pair of Big Ten Freshman of the Year in his time at Indiana.

In nine years at Miami (Ohio), Smith compiled eight consecutive 30-win seasons, two NCAA Regional appearances, and advanced to the Mid-American Conference Tournament finals six times.

He began his coaching career as head coach at Miami University-Middletown in 1990, served as an assistant coach at Miami (Ohio) from 1993-94, and was the pitching coach at Indiana from 1995-96.

Smith was a four-year letterwinner as a pitcher and infielder at Miami (Ohio) before playing three seasons in the Chicago Cubs organization.

Smith graduated from Miami (Ohio) in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in education before completing a master’s degree in sport organization from the school in 1992.

A native of Kentland, Indiana, Smith and his wife, Jaime, have three sons, Casey, Ty, and Jack.

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