The Indiana Hoosiers have seen more success in the past two seasons then they had in the entire history of the baseball program. IU can thank coach Tracy Smith for the overwhelming success.
But with success comes more opportunities.
Smith accepted the head coaching position at Arizona State yesterday. IU had three NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to Omaha for the College World Series, under his tenure.
Smith struggled to make the decision to leave the program he took to new heights.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever faced,” Smith said. “The truth of the matter is, at this stage of my life, I am ready for a new challenge. Indiana is a part of who I am and always will be. I want to thank President McRobbie and Fred Glass for helping build this program into what it has become.
“I also would like to thank Rick Greenspan for giving me the opportunity to be at Indiana in the first place. Most importantly, I would like to thank the players – past and present – for being the heart and soul of Indiana Baseball now and in the future. I have loved my time at Indiana University, and I am proud of what we have achieved. I look forward to IU’s continued success.”
Smith was hired in 2005 to rebuild the program. They went to the NCAA Tourney for the first time in 2009 after winning the Big Ten Tournament and receiving an automatic bid.
Over the past two years, the Hoosiers won 93 games and secured not only two Big Ten regular season titles but two conference tournament championships as well. Smith holds a 287-237 record at IU as head coach.
In 2013, the Hoosiers went to the College World Series after hosting their first regional and sweeping Florida State on the road in the super regional. 2014 didn’t see the same success as the team lost to Stanford on a walk off home run in the Bloomington regional.
Smith saw 28 players drafted into the pros, eight of those players came from the past two seasons.
IU Athletic Director Fred Glass praised all the accomplishments of Smith.
“Tracy’s vision for baseball at Indiana came to fruition with the completion of Bart Kaufman Field, standing room only attendance, three Big Ten Championships, three NCAA berths and a trip to the College World Series,” Glass said. “His leadership and dedication to building a program the right way was obviously not lost on the college baseball community. We will all miss his immense talent and knack for leadership. As his friend, I will also greatly miss just having him around.
“We will begin a diligent and thorough search for the next leader of the IU baseball program and believe that with the program’s recent success and the substantial investments we have – and will continue – to make in it, including new facilities, this is one of the most attractive openings in the country.”
It was an outstanding two years for the Hoosiers and certainly put the program on the map. With the new facilities and recent success, the front office should be able to find a quality replacement soon.