Smith begins his 20th year leading Baylor baseball
When the first pitch is thrown tomorrow night between Baylor and Arizona State, it will mark the beginning of head coach Steve Smith‘s 20th season guiding the Baylor baseball program.
Smith, a 1986 Baylor graduate, returned to his alma mater in 1995 after two years as a graduate assistant at Texas A&M and five years as an assistant at Mississippi State under legendary head coach Ron Polk. He has led Baylor to the NCAA postseason 13 times in the last 16 years, including four Super Regionals and one of the program’s three College World Series appearances.
A five-time Big 12 Coach of the Year, Smith’s Bears have won three of the program’s five league titles (2000, 2005, 2012). His 695 career victories are the most ever by any Baylor coach in any sport. As a Bear, Smith has tutored six MLB first-round picks and seen eight of his former players reach the big leagues. Nor surprisingly, Smith was inducted into the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
This year’s squad returns 15 letterwinners, including six position starters and nine pitchers, from last year. The Bears open the 2014 season this weekend with a three-game series at No. 19 Arizona State before returning to Waco to open their home slate Feb. 18 against UT-Arlington.
Sic ’em, Coach Smith!