Coaches’ Profile: Jay Smith
MIO – As the Mio boys basketball program honored its 1978 and 1989 teams last Saturday, one of Mio’s and the state’s all-time greats was in attendance.
Mio graduate and current Kalamazoo College men’s basketball coach Jay Smith was on hand to watch his Thunderbolts take on Fairview in a 64-31 win.
The state’s all-time leading scorer with 2,841 career points, Smith starred for the Thunderbolts from 1976-1979 and led Mio to the 1978 MHSAA Class D state semifinals. Smith took his talents to Bowling Green before transferring to Saginaw Valley State in 1980.
Following college, Smith began his coaching career as an assistant at Kent State from 1984-1989 before moving on to the University of Michigan from 1989-1996. Smith spent one season as head coach of Grand Valley State during the 1996-97 season and headed up Central Michigan’s program from 1997-2006, leading the Chippewas to the 2003 NCAA Division I national tournament and a the Mid-American Conference regular season and tournament championships. Smith led the Chippewas to a 25-7 record in 2002-03 and coach former first-round draft pick Chris Kaman. The 2003 NCAA tournament appearance was the last CMU has made.
Prior to taking over at Kalamazoo College in 2016, Smith was an assistant at the University of Detroit Mercy from 2008-2016.
Smith is the subject of our latest MISportsNow Coaches’ Profile.