ATLANTA – Elon University women’s basketball head coach Charlotte Smith has been tabbed the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Region 3 Coach of the Year. The announcement, made Thursday, March 22, qualifies Smith as one of 10 finalists for the organization’s National Coach of the Year award.
The honor comes after Smith led the Phoenix to a 25-8 record with a second-straight CAA Tournament title and the program’s second trip to the NCAA Tournament. This year’s 25-win season is the fifth in program history and the third time it’s been done in back-to-back seasons. The 2017-18 team’s success comes with the sixth-youngest roster in the country featuring six freshmen, three sophomores and three seniors.
Mississippi State’s Vic Schaefer was named the United States Marine Corps/WBCA National Coach of the Year. Other regional coaches of the year include Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw, Louisville’s Jeff Walz, Missouri’s Robin Pingeton, Baylor’s Kim Mulkey, Iowa’s Lisa Bluder, Maryland’s Brenda Frese, UCLA’s Cori Close and UC-Davis’s Jennifer Gross.
In her seven years at the helm of Elon’s women’s basketball program, Smith has amassed a record of 139-85. But over the course of the last two seasons, the Phoenix has posted a 52-15 mark with a CAA regular-season title, back-to-back CAA Tournament titles and a pair of trips to the NCAA Tournament – the first two NCAA appearances in program history. The 2017 CAA Coach of the Year has also led Elon to victories over NC State, Rutgers, Alabama, UCF and 2018 Sweet 16 program Central Michigan over the course of the last three seasons.
Under her watch, senior guard Shay Burnett closed her career as a three-time First Team All-CAA honoree while earning Preseason Player of the Year before the 2017-18 season. In her time thus far at Elon, Smith has also coached student-athletes to seven First Team All-Conference honors to go with Jada Graves’ CAA Defensive Player of the Year nod and Ra’Shika White’s CAA Sixth Player of the Year award in 2017-18.