Smith resigns from Bemidji State men's basketball post
Friday, April 28, 2006
BEMDIJI, Minn. – Bemidji State University Director of Athletic Dr. Rick Goeb has announced the resignation of Patrick Smith from the men's basketball program. Smith leaves BSU to return to the junior college ranks where he will serve as the head men's basketball coach at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, Texas.

"Pat Smith was able step into a program and attract a lot of talent and have an immediate impact in the conference. That is a difficult thing to do but with his background and experience he was able to do just that," commented Goeb.

"Pat has done a great job here, had a lot of success and we will certainly miss him."

"We really grew to love Bemidji, Minn." commented Smith. "There are a lot of good people in here and a lot of good people in this athletic department." He continued, "There is a lot of overachieving going on in this athletic program because of the outstanding coaching staff, not just basketball, but from top to bottom. Making the decision to leave BSU was truly one of the toughest decisions I have had to make, but at the same I am looking forward to the future and wish this program nothing but the best."

Smith's new position marks a return to not only the junior college ranks, it also marks his come back to the Lone Star State and Region XIV Conference (formerly Texas Eastern Athletic Conference) where he coached for five seasons while at Jacksonville College 1995-97 and again from 1998-2001.

He replaces Leon Spencer who resigned last month after serving as the head coach at TVCC for the last 42 seasons.

"Trinity Valley is one of the few places I have always wanted to be," said Smith. "I coached in that league and have a great deal of respect for the program they have built."

Smith leaves BSU and the NCAA Division II ranks after just two short years. During that time Smith and his teams compiled an overall record of 32-25 (.561) 19-9 (.679) in Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference regular-season play, managed back-to-back finishes in the top three of the NSIC standings and were regionally ranked for just the fourth time in school history. Smith also mentored four all-conference selections and the 2004-05 NSIC Newcomer of the Year.

Smith's arrival to BSU was not without its challenges. He inherited just three players from a team that won its first NSIC Championship in more than 40 years and its first ever trip to the NCAA Division II National Tournament. But Smith quickly assembled a squad that was not only competitive, it rattled off nine consecutive conference wins and was in the hunt for its second straight league crown into the final week of the regular season.

Smith will remain on staff at BSU until mid-May as he fulfills his academic duties to the institution.

According to Goeb, a national search for a new head coach will begin immediately.

BSU is coming off a season in which it went 15-13 and was 9-5 in NSIC play for a third place finish. The team kicks off its 84th season of collegiate basketball Nov. 15 when it travels to the University of Minnesota Duluth.