Craig Smith returns to the Rams staff for his fifth season overall in 2011-12, and his fourth as an assistant coach. Smith shares scouting and recruiting resoponsibilities and develops the Rams' front court. He's also the team's director of player development.
Prior to Smith's arrival at Colorado State, he spent three seasons as head men's basketball coach at Mayville State University, where he compiled a record of 72-29 while advancing to three straight NAIA II national tournaments, including a trip to the NAIA II national championship game in 2007.
In his first season as a head coach in 2004-05, Smith resurrected a program that had won just a single game the year prior to his arrival, and immediately earned a berth in the NAIA II national tournament, a 16-game improvement. Smith followed that up in 2005-06 with a 28-6 mark, setting a record for most wins in school history while winning MSU's first ever Dakota Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships. MSU advanced all the way to the national quarterfinals before losing to the eventual national champions. In 2006-07 MSU finished with a 27-9 record under Smith's leadership, winning MSU's second consecutive DAC regular-season and tournament championships and earning a spot in the NAIA II national championship game. Mayville's run to the national championship game marked the first time any men's basketball team from North Dakota had ever played for a national title.
Smith was named the NAIA II National Coach of the Year in 2007. He was also named Dakota Athletic Conference Coach of the Year in 2006 and 2007. Smith's MSU teams were characterized by their hard work and first-class attitude on and off the court. Mayville State's 2006-07 team was honored and recognized nationally with the Dr. James Naismith-Emil Liston Sportsmanship Award.
A native of Stephen, Minn., Smith began his collegiate coaching career at Mayville State University during the 1996-97 season. An assistant to then-Mayville State Head Coach Tim Miles, MSU went 18-11, won the regular season NDCAC title and the conference postseason tournament before advancing to the NAIA II national tournament.
Smith then worked as a graduate assistant at Northern State University during the 1997-98 season, followed by time at Minot State University as an assistant coach for three years, and then as an assistant coach and director of basketball operations under Miles at North Dakota State University.
Smith is a 1996 graduate of the University of North Dakota with a bachelor's degree in secondary education. He earned his master's degree from Northern State in teaching and learning. Smith and his wife, Darcy, have three boys--Landon (11), Brady (9) and Carson (6) and a daughter--Lauren, who turns three in January.
Miles on Smith: "Craig is an outstanding coach. I've hired him three times, and there's a reason for that. I believe in the way he conducts himself. He's an excellent recruiter and, schematically, he's really a good tactician when it comes to basketball."