Greg Smith brought with him a formula for success when he was handed the reins of the University of Toledo women's volleyball program on May 11, 2009.
Now, Smith has seen his blueprint result in two of the top seasons in the Rocket volleyball program's 31-year history. UT followed up a 17-12 win-loss mark in Smith's debut season with an appearance in last year's Mid-American Conference Tournament semifinals.
Highlighting the 2010 campaign was a 3-2 upset win over No. 12 Michigan in the season-opening Rocket Classic. UT also knocked off four more teams - No. 32 Creighton, No. 49 Western Michigan, No. 50 Ball State and No. 57 Northern Illinois - that appeared in the Top 60 of the final NCAA RPI rankings giving it a school-record RPI ranking of 100 (out of 328 teams).
The Rockets ended their season on a high note by sweeping regular-season champion Ball State in the MAC quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals for the fourth time in school history.
Smith's inaugural campaign in 2009 saw Toledo post a .586 winning percentage, third-best in school annals. UT also tied for second place in the MAC's West Division which was its highest finish ever since the conference went to a divisional format in 1997.
"Our first two seasons have allowed us build a solid foundation," Smith said. "We have established depth and a solid talent base at each position which has filled our program with tremendous optimism for the future."
Prior to coming to Toledo, Smith served as the top assistant and recruiting coordinator at Notre Dame for three years (2006-09), helping the Fighting Irish post a 50-41 overall record and a 28-14 Big East mark.
A Rochester, IN native, Smith coached 10 all-conference honorees in South Bend in addition to 2007 AVCA Northeast Region Freshman of the Year Kellie Sciacca. He also helped the Fighting Irish to an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006, which is one of six trips he has made to post-season play in his coaching career.
Smith received his first taste of being a head coach during a six-year tenure (2000-05) at Virginia Tech. He registered an 81-94 (.463) win-loss ledger with a 37-38 (.493) conference mark, and he was honored as the 2002 Big East Conference Coach of the Year.
The 2002 campaign saw the Hokies post an amazing turnaround with a second-place league finish. Virginia Tech posted a 20-11 record after registering a 9-19 ledger the previous season to earn a berth in the four-team league tournament with a 10-3 conference mark. That team more than doubled its overall win total and won twice as many conference matches than it did during the 2001 season.
During his time at Virginia Tech, Smith helped five different players earn a total of nine all-conference honors. He also oversaw the Hokies' transition from an independent to the Big East Conference in 2001 and then into the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004.
Smith headed to Virginia Tech's Blacksburg campus following three years at Ohio State, where he helped coach the Buckeyes to a trio of NCAA Tournament bids. While with the Scarlet and Gray, he assisted in recruiting and training the team both on-court and in physical conditioning.
Smith mentored a pair of Buckeye standouts in Jen Flynn and Katie Virtue. Flynn was a first-team All-Big Ten choice and a member of the USPV "Dream Team" in 2000. She joined the U.S. National Team in 2002 as its starting setter, while leading the squad to a silver medal at the 2002 World Championships. Virtue, Ohio State's all-time assists leader and the 1999 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, was also a member of the U.S. National Team with Flynn.
Prior to his stint in Columbus, Smith spent two seasons as an assistant at Hofstra University where he helped lead the team to back-to-back America East Conference Tournament championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. Before his time at Hofstra, he was an assistant at the University of Indianapolis in 1994 where he received a bachelor's degree in secondary education.
Smith graduated from Westmont College (CA) in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in business and economics. A letterwinner in tennis for the Warriors, he also served as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
Smith and his wife, Erica, have two daughters, Peytan (8) and Reagan (5), and one son, Logan (3).
The Greg Smith File
Name: Greg Smith.
Family: Wife, Erica; Daughters, Peytan and Reagan; Son, Logan.
Hometown: Rochester, IN.
Born: June 9, 1966 in Crawfordsville, IN.
Collegiate Coaching Experience:
2009-pres. Head Coach, Univ. of Toledo
2006-08 Asst. Coach, Univ. of Notre Dame
2000-05 Head Coach, Virginia Tech
1997-99 Asst. Coach, Ohio State Univ.
1995-96 Asst. Coach, Hofstra Univ.
1994 Asst. Coach, Univ. of Indianapolis
College: Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics, Westmont (CA) College 1990.
Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, Univ. of Indianapolis, 1995.
Organizations: American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).