HIGH POINT, N.C. – Kenny Smith has joined the High Point University baseball staff as an assistant coach, head coach Craig Cozart announced on Tuesday. Smith comes to High Point after two seasons as an assistant coach at Bethune-Cookman University.
“We are very excited to have Kenny Smith join our High Point University baseball staff,” Cozart said. “Kenny has a long history within baseball here in the state of North Carolina, from his playing days at UNC Wilmington and Western Carolina to coaching at UNC Asheville. He has done great things from a recruiting and development standpoint and is a huge addition to our staff. I expect to see great results from the work he puts in here at HPU.”
While at Bethune-Cookman, Smith worked primarily with the Wildcats’ infielders. Smith worked with the hitters and focused his defensive efforts on Bethune-Cookman’s infielders. Smith helped guide the Wildcats to 68 wins in two seasons and both a MEAC Championship and an appearance in the NCAA Regionals in 2012. Smith also played a role in Bethune-Cookman’s recruiting, helping the Wildcats secure a National Top 35 Recruiting Class in 2012.
“I am thrilled to be part of one of the great up-and-coming universities in the country,” Smith said. “This program has been a contender in the Big South and I am looking forward to adding onto the foundation that has been laid. There is no reason that I can see that we cannot continue to grow and become a perennial championship team.”
Smith began coaching at Bethune-Cookman after two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach at UNC Asheville, where he coached second baseman Jordan Lurie to All-Conference honors. While at Asheville, Smith oversaw the team’s weight lifting program and helped coach the team’s hitters and infield defense.
Smith was the 2007 Southern Conference Player-of-the-Year at Western Carolina. He hit a team-high 20 home runs and set Western Carolina single-season records in both RBI and Total Bases, earning him second team ABCA All-American honors. Smith led the Catamounts to the championship game of the Chapel Hill Regional and earned a spot on the NCAA All-Regional Team. He graduated from WCU with his Masters in Accountancy.
Smith began his collegiate career at UNC Wilmington where he played for three seasons before graduating with his degree in Accounting and transferring to Western Carolina. He helped lead the Seahawks to the 2006 Colonial Athletic Association title, hitting .286 with 16 doubles and 28 RBI. Smith played on two championship teams and was a part of two Regional appearances at UNCW.
Following his collegiate career, Smith was drafted in the 20th round of the 2007 Major League Baseball draft by the Texas Rangers. He played in the Rangers Minor League System for two seasons, first with the Clinton Lumberkings then with the Spokane Indians.
Smith is the son of UNC Asheville head coach Tom Smith.