B.J. Smith led the Redhawks women’s basketball team to their first NCAA appearance
Southeast Missouri State Women’s Head Basketball Coach B.J. Smith has agreed to a three-year contract renewal.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – (Wednesday, April 12, 2006) Southeast Missouri State Women’s Head Basketball Coach B.J. Smith, who led the Redhawks to their first NCAA Tournament appearance this past season, agreed to a three-year contract renewal. Director of Athletics Don Kaverman announced the extension early Wednesday morning.
“I’m excited to remain here at Southeast Missouri State and continue what we started here with the program,” said Coach Smith. “There’s no other place that I would rather be at then here as a Redhawk and want to thank President Dr. Kenneth Dobbins, Don Kaverman and all involved with this process for allowing me to be here.”
Smith, 41, has led the Redhawks to consecutive 20-plus win seasons including a record of 22-9 this past year. Since his arrival on the Southeast Missouri State campus four seasons ago Smith has compiled an overall record of 79-41 and an Ohio Valley Conference record of 51-17, both marks are the best in the OVC during that span.
“We are delighted to have this issue resolved and to have Coach Smith as our head coach for the next three seasons,” said Kaverman. “His success and ongoing efforts to improve our women’s basketball program certainly deserved to be rewarded.”
Kaverman noted that due to an ongoing NCAA and OVC inquiry into possible violations in the women’s basketball program, certain language was included in Smith’s contract that states that he could be released if a major violation was found during the current inquiry.
“Despite the investigation the athletic department will continue to support Coach Smith,” said Kaverman. “We have already addressed some of the violations and have taken the necessary corrective actions regarding those infractions.”
Under Coach Smith’s guidance the Redhawks have advanced to the finals of the OVC Championship Tournament three of his last four seasons including the team’s first OVC tournament title this past season which led the Redhawks NCAA tournament berth. The team also won a share of the OVC regular season title, also the programs first.
“Coach Smith has made significant contributions to the women’s basketball program and the athletic department,” said Kaverman. “The national exposure we have received because the success of the women’s basketball team has benefited both the university and the community of Cape Girardeau.”
Smith’s previous contract was due to expire at the end of the month.
“I’m happy the issues have been resolved and we can continue to build on last year’s success and reach our goal of becoming the premier team in the OVC,” said Coach Smith.