Michigan Hires Tracy Smith As Next Coach
Michigan on Sunday hired Tracy Smith as its next coach. Smith was previously head coach at Arizona State, Indiana and Miami (Ohio) and will now make his return to the Midwest.
Smith, 56, has a career record of 805-612-1 in 25 years as a Division I head coach and led Indiana to the 2013 College World Series. He takes over the Wolverines following Erik Bakich’s departure last month for Clemson.
Smith was out of coaching this season after last year getting fired by Arizona State. In seven years, he led the Sun Devils to a 201-155 record and four NCAA Tournament appearances. But they never advanced out of regionals or finished better than third in the Pac-12, leading to his dismissal. ASU was one of the teams hit hardest by the cancellation of the 2020 season, however, as it had a top-10 team at the time and was led by first baseman Spencer Torkelson, the No. 1 overall pick that summer.
Smith had far more success at Indiana, which he built into one of the Big Ten’s premier programs over nine years in Bloomington. He went 287-237 with the Hoosiers, who in 2013 became the first Big Ten team to play in the CWS in more than 25 years and the following year was the No. 4 national seed in the NCAA Tournament. He also won big at Miami (Ohio), his alma mater, twice taking the RedHawks to regionals.
Smith has been a standout recruiter throughout his career. Indiana’s rise was fueled in part by righthander Eric Arnett, who in 2009 became the program’s first first-round pick in more than 40 yars, and slugger Kyle Schwarber, who in 2014 became the program’s highest drafted player when he went fourth overall. Arizona State hauled in three top-10 classes under Smith, including the 2017 class that produced top draft picks like Torkelson, shortstop Alika Williams, outfielder Trevor Hauver and third baseman Gage Workman, all of whom were drafted in the top 102 picks in 2020.
After a disappointing end at ASU, Smith now gets another chance at one of the Big Ten’s premier programs. Michigan is coming off a Big Ten Tournament title and an appearance in the Louisville Regional final and is just three years removed from playing for the national championship. Under Bakich, the Wolverines recruited at a high level – their 2017 class is the only top-10 class in conference history – and now Smith will look to build on that success in Ann Arbor.