Feature on Gamecock Women's Soccer won NBS award
South Carolina vs. Furman, NCAA First Round (11/15/13)
Smith has been instrumental in developing South Carolina into one of the top defensive units in the SEC and the nation. In working with the backs, Smith has turned the program into a group that has been ranked near the top in the SEC every season since 2007.
This past fall, Carolina's defense sparked a record-setting 2016 campaign. The Gamecocks allowed just 10 goals on the year and finished with a 0.41 goals against average, the lowest single-season mark in program history. Carolina, the 2016 SEC Regular-Season Champions, was at its best in conference play. The team posted a shutout in eight of its 11 league contests, including a 1-0 win over No. 17 Florida at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks' 14 total clean sheets last year marked the second-most single-season total in school history.
Carolina's back line shined when it mattered most, and the team advanced to the Elite Eight for the second time in three years after recording a shuout in each of the first three rounds of the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Two of the clean sheets came against ranked opponenets, as the Gamecocks notched 1-0 victories over No. 20 Colorado (Round of 32) and No. 4 BYU (Round of 16).
The squad led the conference in every major defensive category in 2009, including goals allowed, shots allowed, goals against average and shutouts. That was followed with a 2010 season where the defense squad had a streak of 11 consecutive games in limiting opponents to four shots on goal or less, and finished the regular season as the SEC's leader in every major defensive category including goals against average, shutouts, shots allowed and points allowed.
The Gamecock defensive unit once again boasted the league’s best goals against average in 2011, held seven of 11 SEC opponents to four shots on goal or less and posted nine shutouts in addition to topping the conference in nearly every defensive category.
His 2013 group demonstrated similar feats, leading the SEC in goals against average, goals allowed, points allowed and shots on goal allowed. During the regular season, only one SEC opponent recorded more than four shots on goal in a game, a feat that only three opponents all season could produce.
As the Gamecocks made a historic run to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2014, they notched 13 shutouts, second most in school history. The total included three-straight NCAA Tournament shutouts, including one against No. 6 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., for the program’s first-ever win in the Round of 16. The run in the postseason came after South Carolina yet again topped the SEC in most statistical categories.
South Carolina notched six clean sheets during the 2015 season, including a 2-0 decision over No. 8 Auburn at Stone Stadium. The Gamecocks allowed just six goals in 10 home matches throughout the regular season and finished the fall with four shutouts in SEC play. South Carolina’s 1.05 goals against average overall was good for the fifth-best mark in the league, and the Gamecocks allowed five shots or less in five matches this past fall.
Smith has developed the top defensive players in South Carolina history, most notably Blakely Mattern and Kaleigh Kurtz. Mattern ended her career as a two-time All-American (2007 Freshman All-American, 2009 First Team All-American). Under Smith's guidance, she became a four-time All-SEC player, the 2007 SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a 2009 consensus First-Team All-American.
Kurtz, who wrapped up her collegiate career this past fall, garnered 2016 NSCAA First-Team All-America honors and was tabbed the 2016 SEC Defensive Player of the Year as well as a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy last year. Her leadership on the back line helped guide Carolina to the 2016 SEC Regular-Season Title and a No. 1 NCAA Tournament seed. The Gamecocks conceded just three goals in conference play, and they totaled 33 shutouts throughout Kurtz's three-year run at Carolina.
Smith has also developed 2007 Freshman All-American and 2010 Top Drawer Soccer All-American Brittiny Rhoades, All-Region selections Melinda Carter, Courtney Cobbs, Ellen Fahey and Taylor Leach, and All-SEC selections Sarah Lentz and Alison Jarrow.
A top recruiter and evaluator of talent, Smith earned his first collegiate coaching award in the Fall of 2003 when he was selected as one of the AFLAC Assistant Coaches of the Year. Smith graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Providence College in 1994. While at PC, Smith was a three-year starter for the Friars' varsity team. Upon graduating, Smith held the Providence record for career saves and currently is second on the list at 263. Since graduating, he has served as assistant coach for three universities, including Brown where he held the position from 1999 to 2001.
At Brown, Smith's responsibilities included evaluating and recruiting players, scouting of opponents, and developing playing strategies. In addition, Smith was responsible for all aspects of fund-raising efforts including the Brown Youth Futbol School of Excellence, Spring Break Camp, and Youth Indoor Tournament.
Smith further cultivated his coaching talents assisting for three years at Dartmouth College and as assistant and Interim Head Coach at Vermont.
In addition to his collegiate coaching experience, Smith held various positions with the Upper Valley Lightning Soccer Club in Hanover, N.H. from 1996 to 1998. The club is one of the largest in New Hampshire with over 2500 youth participants. Smith is also the Co-owner/Director of the World Class Soccer School in Shaftsbury, Vt., a youth summer day camp he established, developed and has operated since 1995. He also currently coordinates numerous camps in South Carolina.
Upon graduating from Providence, Smith played professionally in the United States Interregional Soccer League with the New Hampshire Phantoms in 1995 and 1996, the Vermont Wanderers in 1997, and the Vermont Voltage in 1998. Smith also trained and played with the Montreal Impact in 1997 and 1998. Smith has a National, Advanced National and Goalkeeping License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Smith graduated as a double-major in marketing and management from Providence and holds a United States Soccer Federation B License.