The 2019 campaign is the 18th for Tracy Smith at Texas State and the 14th as both the program’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator.
Her ability to recruit top student-athletes has helped lead the Bobcats to success on the court and in the classroom. Her recruiting prowess was on display in 2018 when she brought in arguably the best TXST recruiting class, highlighted by Emily DeWalt’s Sun Belt Conference Setter and Freshman of the Year plaudits, as well as Janell Fitzgerald’s all-conference first-team selection. That year, the team was the undisputed champions for the Sun Belt and picked up their first NCAA Tournament victory.
She is one-third of the longest-tenured coaching staff in all of NCAA (Divisions I-III). Head Coach Karen Chisum is in her 40th season and assistant coach Sean Huiet is in his 14th.
The 2018 campaign was one for the record books for the Texas State volleyball program. The Bobcats posted 27 victories, the most since 2011, won their second consecutive Sun Belt West Division title and the first SBC regular season title behind a 15-1 mark. They claimed their second Sun Belt Conference Tournament Championship and earned their first postseason victory in the NCAA Tournament when they topped Rice in the first round. The Bobcats led the league in assists, hitting percentage and kills.
For the second consecutive season, Texas State led the conference in all-conference postseason accolades claiming five in 2018, one shy of tying the school-record set the previous year. They did, however, match the school-record with four first-team honorees and three specialty awards set in 2017. In addition to head coach Karen Chisum’s Coach of the Year award, Emily DeWalt claimed two players of the year awards (Setter and Freshman of the Year) and became the program’s first-ever AVCA National Player of the Week (Oct. 1). Joining DeWalt on the first-team was Madison Daigle, Janell Fitzgerald and Cheyenne Huskey. Amy Pflughaupt was the fifth all-conference selection by being named to the second-team. Daigle was selected as the Sun Belt Conference Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, becoming the second Bobcat to win the award (Caylin Mahoney in 2013). She was joined by Fitzgerald and Huskey on the all-tournament team.
The 2017 season was another banner year for Smith and the Bobcats. The maroon and gold finished the season with 25 victories, a Sun Belt West Division title and the first postseason victory in school history when they defeated Rice in the first round of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship. TXST led the SBC in digs, assists, opponent hitting percentage and kills.
Texas State finished with a school-record mark of six all-conference selections and three players of the year in Micah Dinwiddie (Defensive Player of the Year), Erin Hoppe (Setter of the Year) and Amy Pflughaupt (Newcomer of the Year). All three were joined by Madison Daigle on the All-SBC First Team. Dinwiddie broke the school record with 599 digs in 2017.
Since Smith’s arrival to San Marcos in 2002, the Bobcats have won nine Southland Conference Championships and two Sun Belt Conference Championship. TXST has compiled a 356-209 (.630) record.
24139In addition to coordinating all aspects of the team’s recruiting efforts, Smith is also the team’s technical director, outlining all aspects of the Bobcats’ training and on-floor technical skills. She also works with the day-to-day operations of the Bobcat volleyball program, helping coordinate staff duties between the assistant coach, volunteer assistant, team managers and team athletic trainers.
Smith’s efforts helped lead Jordan Kohl to SBC Freshman of the Year honors and an all-conference selection in 2014. In 2015, Kohl was joined Daigle on the All-Sun Belt team. Additionally, Sierra Smith finished the season as the all-time school leader in digs with 1,638. This came after Smith set the record for most digs in a season (548) and in a match (37) in 2013.
Smith mentored former Bobcat middle blocker Amber Calhoun, who was named the 2011 Southland Conference Player of the Year. Calhoun finished her four-year career with the Texas State record for block assists and tied for the record in hitting percentage.
Among her many impressive recruiting classes was her 2010 class that included Amari Deardorff and Ashlee Hilbun. Both went on to become two-time all-conference selections for a recruiting class that was ranked top-50 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com.
Prior to her arrival at Texas State, Smith spent one season as an assistant coach at Rice. She helped lead the Owls to an 18-16 overall mark and an 8-5 record in the Western Athletic Conference.
Smith was an assistant coach at UCF in the spring of 2001, and she has six years of head coaching experience at Arkansas Tech from 1996-01. Smith won three Gulf South Conference Championships, reached the 30-win plateau three times and compiled an overall record of 137-55 (.714) during her time with the Golden Suns.
She led ATU to a 34-6 record and an undefeated 12-0 mark in conference play in 2001. The team finished second in the GSC Championship and qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championship – marking the team’s first NCAA Championship appearance in school history. Smith also tallied three undefeated Gulf South West Division championships and had a 43-10 conference record in her time at Arkansas Tech.
Players from Smith’s teams garnered conference MVP honors in 1997, 1999 and 2001, and two of her players received National Player of the Week accolades on three different occasions. Smith also served as the Senior Woman Administrator from 1996-98 and was a physical education instructor while in Russellville. She has also served on the American Volleyball Coaches Association Board as the Assistant Coaches Representative for the past eight years.
Smith is a 1996 graduate of the University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology.
As a player, Smith attended Clear Lake High School, played for Club Texas and signed with Utah State as an outside hitter. Smith transferred to Texas after one season at Utah State, but her playing days were cut short by a career-ending injury. She worked as a student assistant while completing her degree under former Longhorn and Southern California head coach Mick Haley, who retired as the third winningest active NCAA Division I head coach.
Smith married her high school sweetheart Steve Smith in the summer of 2007.