BOONE — Kermit Smith has been picked as the new head coach for the Appalachian State University baseball program. Smith was introduced at a press conference on Monday.
Smith has been a collegiate coach for 15 seasons and was most recently the head coach at Lander University where he was the winningest coach in program history.
“There was a tremendous amount of national interest in this position from coaches at all levels. Kermit has been a head coach for the past 15 years and has a successful track record of developing young men on and off the field,” said App State director of athletics Doug Gillin. “I believe he will be a great fit for our baseball program, athletic department, university and community. I am thrilled to welcome Kermit, Rebecca and their children Maddox, Beckett and Georgia to the Appalachian State family.”
According to Gillin, there were over 100 applications for the position
During his seven years at Lander University in Greenwood, South Carolina, Smith finished with a record of 244-134 and helped the Bearcats to three NCAA tournaments in the last five years.
The success didn’t just stop there. Lander reached the Division II College World Series twice in the last three years and finished up this past season with a 44-16 record. The Bearcats ended the year ranked third in the Collegiate Baseball Poll.
The individual accomplishments were also something to be proud of for Smith. He was named the South Atlantic Region Coach of the Year in 2009 and 2014 and was the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year in 2014.
Prior to his stop at Lander University, Smith was the head coach at Belmont Abbey where he made two NCAA tournament appearances and reached the 2009 Division II College World Series.
“Rebecca and I are extremely excited about joining the Appalachian State family,” said Smith. “In the short amount of time that I have spent around Doug and his staff, it is clearly evident that they are full of energy and enthusiasm. Our family is also looking forward to getting entrenched in the Boone community.”
Looking to the future, Coach Smith is excited to see where the program goes.
“Mountaineer baseball provides huge potential for success with their facilities and resources and we will work diligently to make App State an elite program in the Sun Belt and the country,” he said. “My coaching philosophy shares equal emphasis on recruitment as well as the development of players. The next month will be spent getting to know our current players and determining our necessary steps to achieve our vision for Appalachian State baseball. I am excited to get in the trenches with these guys and hit the ground running.”
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.