Longtime Carleton basketball head coach Dave Smart gets gig with NCAA’s Pacific

Dave Smart, a 10-time U Sports coach of the year, is getting a head coaching gig in the United States.

The longtime leader of the Carleton University men’s basketball program has been hired by the University of the Pacific Tigers as head coach of the men’s NCAA Division I team.

“I could not be more excited than I am now to have coach Smart join our Tigers family and lead our men’s basketball program,” Pacific director of athletics Adam Tschor said in a statement.

“He is one of the most respected basketball minds in the world and someone who will not only show his energy and enthusiasm on the sidelines but in the community as well.”

The 58-year-old Smart left Carleton last year to join the NCAA’s Texas Tech as an assistant coach.

The Red Raiders went 23-11 this season and earned a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament, but fell to No. 11 NC State in the first round last Thursday.

Meanwhile, Pacific went 6-26 and lost all 16 conference games under recently fired head coach Leonard Perry.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the Tigers into a new era,” Smart said. “Adam and president [Christopher] Callahan have an ambitious and exciting vision for the program, and I thank them for entrusting me with the task of bringing that vision to life.”

Unprecedented success in Canada

Smart, of Kingston, Ont., is widely regarded as the most successful basketball coach in Canadian university history.

During his 18 seasons at Carleton, he led the Ravens to 11 OUA championships — the most by any coach in conference history — 13 U Sports Final 8 national championship titles and an impressive 591-48 record against U Sports competition.

Along with his collegiate experience, Smart has served as an assistant coach for Canada’s senior men’s national team and a head coach of the U-18 national team.

Smart was an assistant on the senior team that finished third at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City in 2015. He helped Canada to an 8-2 record, including a one-point victory over Mexico in the bronze-medal game.

Smart has been named the recipient of the Pat O’Brien Award as Ravens’ coach of the year on five occasions. He was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2021.

He was also a coaching consultant for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, focusing on defensive mindsets and player attitude, and the general manager of the Ottawa Blackjacks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League.

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