Men's Basketball Coach Jay Smith Resigns

MOUNT PLEASANT - Central Michigan University men's basketball coach Jay Smith has resigned from his position after nine years wih the Chippewas.

"We fully respect Jay's decision to leave the coaching profession to spend more time with his family," Athletics Director Dave Heeke said. "During the last nine years, Jay has operated a basketball program that has given this university and community much to be proud of. He strived to maintain a program with student-athletes who were positive representatives of CMU. As a credit to his leadership, his teams earned two conference championships and had success in the NCAA Tournament.

"Jay not only strived for success in every part of his program, he established a strong foundation for the development of our basketball program as we move forward. I have developed a sincere appreciation for his work ethic, character and vision for excellence."

Twice Smith was named Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year after leading CMU to the regular season title in 2001 and 2003. The 2003 squad won a school-record 25 games en route to the regular season and MAC Tournament titles. CMU went on to win its 2003 first-round NCAA Tournament game over No. 15-ranked Creighton, 79-73, before falling to Duke in the second round.

The Chippewas also won at No. 23-ranked Notre Dame, Purdue and Michigan during his coaching tenure.

Central Michigan was 95-160 under Smith with a 52-110 MAC record. The 95 victories rank fourth in CMU men's basketball history while the nine seasons also rank as the fourth-longest coaching tenure.

He recruited and coached two MAC Players of the Year in David Webber (2001) and Chris Kaman (2003). Kaman left CMU after his junior season and was the sixth overall selection by the Los Angeles Clippers in the 2003 NBA Draft. CMU players earned two first team All-MAC honors, one second team laurel, eight honorable mention selections and five MAC All-Freshman Team picks under Smith. In addition to the two MAC Players of the Year, Smith also guided a MAC Freshman of the Year (Mike Manciel), Defensive Player of the Year (Chris Kaman) and Sixth Man of the Year (Whitney Robinson).

Smith had one year left in his contract. CMU Athletics will begin a national search for a replacement immediately.


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