Craig Smith introduced as Head Coach at South Dakota
VERMILLION, SD (KTIV) -
When it comes to creating buzz and rejuvenating a program, South Dakota has done with just with the hiring of Craig Smith. Spending the majority of his career as an assistant to current Nebraska Head Coach Tim Miles, Smith has helped rebuild programs at North Dakota State, Colorado State and with the Huskers. Now as the head man for the Coyotes, he expects to do the same.
"I am so pumped to lead men's basketball in the right direction." Smith said.
South Dakota has been on Smith's radar since he first came to campus as an graduate assistant at Northern State in 1997.
"What I remember so vividly is the spirit at atmosphere in the Dakota Dome. They were heckling the head coach, the assistant coach, the starting five and the 12th man," Smith said. "They were giving us the business. That was my introduction Vermillion and the University of South Dakota and the tradition that we have."
There isn't a lot of rebuilding Smith has to do right away. He inherits a young but experienced Coyotes squad, losing just two seniors on a team that finished 12-18 and 5th overall in the Summit League.
"We want to get to the top of the Summit League. We want to win the tournament and get to the Big Dance," junior guard Brandon Bos said. "It's great that he feels that way as well."
Smith is just the first piece of the puzzle and there is still a lot of work to do, like finalizing his staff and hitting the road for recruiting. But, he believes the program is on the rise and said "If we're a stock, I'm going to buy."