Jimmy Smith joined the Sam Houston men’s basketball staff as assistant coach in July.
Most recently, Smith led Texas Lutheran University to back-to-back conference titles and NCAA Division III national tournament appearances. He is returning to Sam Houston where he served as a graduate assistant for the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons. The Bearkats posted a 40-21 mark during those two years. Hooten, Sam Houston’s head coach since 2010-11, was an assistant for the Kats during that time.
A four-year basketball letterman at Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, Smith was honored as the university’s Male Athlete of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and as an American Southwest honorable mention all-conference selection. A three-time academic all-league honoree, he was UMHB’s first CoSIDA Academic All-Region honoree as a senior.
Smith returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach where he helped lead UMHB to a 70-18 three-year record and three NCAA Division III national tournament appearances.
In 2012-13 and 2013-14, Smith served as head coach at Schreiner University. In his second season, Smith guided Schreiner to its first winning record at the NCAA Division III level, finishing 15-12 overall and 10-4 in the SCAC. Smith's squad was the runner-up in the SCAC standings and reached the semifinals of the SCAC Championship. Smith’s overall record as a head coach at both Texas Lutheran and Schreiner is 65-44
Taking over a program that finished last in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in 2013-24, Smith directed Texas Lutheran to a 39-17 two-year record. He was named NABC Division III South Region Co-Coach of the Year for 2015-16. The Bulldogs were the top seed in both the 2015 and 2016 SCAC tournaments and won the league’s post-season titles.
Both regular season championships were the first conference titles at TLU since 1965. The Division III playoffs marked the Bulldogs’ first NCAA post-season basketball appearances in school history.
“It’s great to hire someone you know and with whom you feel comfortable,” Hooten said. “Jimmy was our graduate assistant my first two years here at Sam Houston. We became really good friends and I’ve followed his career closely since. He has done a great job. He has proven he can recruit under difficult circumstances at a non-scholarship Division III university. A lot like myself coming from a Division II background, he’s done it the hard way. He is a good coach with good mind and a good recruiter.”
Smith and his wife Lori are the parents of three children (Harrison, Eliza and Sage).