CARROLLTON, Ga. – Jeff Smith has been named the eighth head baseball coach in the history of the program at the University of West Georgia, Athletic Director Daryl Dickey announced on June 14, 2019.
Smith takes over the UWG baseball program after nine years as an assistant coach under former head coach Skip Fite, who retired earlier this spring. As a member of Fite’s staff, Smith helped guide the Wolves to a record of 241-208, reaching the Gulf South Conference tournament seven times and the NCAA South Regional in 2016.
“I’d like to thank the applicants and final candidates for their interest in our position,” Dickey said. “We had a strong amount of interest in this position, and after careful consideration from our committee, we feel we have the right man for the job based on his vision for the program and familiarity with all facets of West Georgia baseball. With that, I am happy to announce interim head coach Jeff Smith as the new head baseball coach at the University of West Georgia.”
The 2020 season will be Smith’s 10th as a collegiate head baseball coach and his 28th overall as a baseball coach. He spent six years as head coach at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tennessee, amassing a record of 225-123 between 1999 and 2005. From 1996-1999, Smith was head coach at Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens, Tennessee, finishing his time there with a record of 69-67. Overall, Smith has a record of 294-190 in his nine years of experience as a head coach.
Since joining the staff at UWG, Smith has helped guide 22 players to All-Gulf South Conference status and six players to All-Region honors, also producing two All-Americans. Three UWG players in the past nine years have either been drafted or signed to play professional baseball. Added to his previous stops at the University of Montevallo (2007-10) and at Volunteer State, Smith has coached 10 different collegiate players who joined the professional ranks.
“I’m extremely excited to have the opportunity to lead this baseball program,” said Smith. “I want to thank Daryl Dickey, Jim Sutherland and many others who have supported me through my time here in Carrollton."
The highlight year of Smith’s UWG career came in 2016 as West Georgia posted a 42-16 record, earning the program’s first bid to NCAA Division II Tournament in 18 years. At the South Region Tournament in Tampa, Florida, the Wolves picked up three wins, including a victory that eliminated the defending national champion and host, the University of Tampa, on the Spartans’ home field.
This past season also saw a new standard for UWG baseball, led by senior outfielder Cade Marlowe. A magna cum laude graduate in pre-med biology, Marlowe became the second All-American under Smith and Fite, as well as winning the GSC Commissioner’s Trophy, finishing his career as West Georgia’s single-season and career record-holder in stolen bases.
“My family and I are extremely happy and humbled to be able to have this opportunity,” Smith said. “Skip Fite has laid a phenomenal foundation here in the past 10 years, and I am excited to continue to build upon that foundation and take the program to yet another level.”
Smith played collegiately at the University of Louisville and graduated from Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tennessee, with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He and his wife, Nancy, have three daughters: Abbie (UWG ’17), Sarah Katherine and Lydia. They reside in Carrollton.