Went 12-0 over two seasons at CU -
Former Cumberland University baseball player and student assistant coach Jeff Smith has been promoted to head coach at the University of West Georgia, an NCAA Division II program located in Carrollton, GA.
Smith, who started his college career at the University of Louisville, pitched at CU where he went 4-0 during the 1988 (NAIA World Series) season and 8-0 during the 1989 campaign. He served as a student assistant with the baseball program during the 1989-1990 school year until he earned his degree.
"Jeff was an outstanding pitcher for us and we've remained close through the years," said CU Hall of Fame baseball coach Woody Hunt. "I'm proud for what he has accomplished in his coaching career and wish him nothing but the best.
The 2020 season will be Smith’s 10th as a collegiate head coach and his 28th overall in the coaching profession.
He spent six years as head coach at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, amassing a record of 225-123 between 1999 and 2005.
Prior to his tenure at VSCC (1996-1999), Smith was head coach at Tennessee Wesleyan University in Athens, 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.
"Coach Hunt was a huge influence on me as a player and a coach," Coach Smith said. "He took the time to talk to his players and develop a relationship with me and other players on the team.
"His knowledge of the game helped me as I moved forward in my coaching career as I tried to develop my own way as a coach.
"Coach Hunt is someone I can pick up the phone and call to ask questions and know he going to tell me the truth.
"The highlight of my playing career was being a member of the first World Series team at CU while playing alongside my brother Tommy.
"Also the experience I gained as a young student assistant when we went to University of North Florida to play in a regional in 1990."
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.
“My family and I are extremely happy and humbled to be able to have this opportunity,” Smith said. “Coach 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 and his wife, Nancy (Mefford) Smith (a CU graduate), have three daughters: Abbie (UWG ’17), Sarah Katherine and Lydia. They reside in Carrollton.