August 2, 2011

Bronco Baseball Announces Hiring Of Eddie Smith As Assistant Coach

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Working with the 2011 College World Series semi-finalist the last five years at the University of Virginia, Bronco baseball head coach Dan O'Brien announced the hiring of Eddie Smith as an assistant coach today.

"Eddie Smith is the perfect fit for Bronco baseball for so many reasons," said O'Brien. "He's an outstanding person, a great coach, tireless worker and comes from an elite program that does things the right way. What puts Coach Smith over the top is his passion for the game and desire to do great things. He's a difference maker and we're very fortunate to have him."

"I look forward to the opportunity to make Santa Clara one of the top programs in the country," said Smith. "Santa Clara offers a unique opportunity for players to play in one of the most competitive conferences in the nation while also earning one of America's top college degrees. Coach O'Brien has shown his ability to create a winning culture in this type of environment with his success at UCSD and I am excited to be a part of it as a Bronco."

At Virginia the last five years, he spent the last three seasons as an assistant coach. Smith's primary duties included the day-to-day development of position players and hitters while acting as the team's first base coach. During his three seasons as a coach, the Cavaliers averaged 52 wins per season, the most among all baseball programs in the country. Virginia also won the ACC Championship each season and twice reached the College World Series. The Cavaliers were ranked No. 1 in the country in almost 50 percent of the games Smith worked.

Before becoming an on-field coach at Virginia, Smith served as the Director of Baseball Operations for two seasons. In his five total seasons Virginia made the NCAA tournament each year and has had 34 players drafted in the Major Leagues.

Smith was the assistant camp director at the University of Notre Dame in 2006 and head coach for the North Thurston High School Legion team in 2004.

As a player, Smith was an infielder at Notre Dame for two seasons, where he graduated with a degree in Spanish. In both seasons the team won the Big East title and appeared in the NCAA Regionals. Prior to Notre Dame, Smith attended Centralia Community College in Centralia, Wash. where the team set a school record in wins and reached the NWAACC tournament. As a high school player he helped lead North Thurston High School in Olympia, Wash. to a state championship and 24-0 record in 2002. 

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT EDDIE SMITH
Brian O'Connor, Head Coach, University of Virginia; back-to-back 50-win seasons
"Eddie Smith is a perfect fit for Santa Clara.  His knowledge of the game of baseball and his ability to recruit and development young men at a top notch academic institution will help make Santa Clara Baseball successful on and off the field. We have been very fortunate to have Eddie Smith on our coaching staff for the last five years. In his time at Virginia, Eddie has done a great job working with our hitters, catchers, and infielders. This is a great opportunity for Eddie and I know he is excited to get to California and get to work."

Paul Mainieri, Head Coach, LSU; 2009 National Champions
"I believe Dan O'Brien made an excellent selection in adding Eddie Smith to his coaching staff at Santa Clara. Eddie played for me at Notre Dame and when he played it was like having a coach on the field. He was the consummate all-out player that got the most out of his ability. His teammates and coaches had the greatest admiration for him because of his work ethic and baseball savvy. I always felt Eddie was destined to be an outstanding college baseball coach. The players at Santa Clara will love this guy because he will work tirelessly to help them fulfill their potential."