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TAMMY SMITH enters her ninth season as the head coach at Lafayette and has been instrumental in taking the program to places it hasn't been since the last century. Smith has guided the team to a remarkable turnaround while building a foundation that should translate into continued success far into the future. The 2009-10 campaign saw her Leopards make history by becoming the first-ever No. 7 seed in the history of Patriot League Women's Basketball Tournament to play in the championship game.
This year, the Leopards welcome back a talented mix of veteran players who tasted that championship atmosphere as well as a recruiting class that has high expectations. That combination of players gives Smith the necessary tools to continue to push Lafayette forward within the always competitive Patriot League. The historic 2008-09 campaign was preceded by a the 2007-08 season that saw the team double its win total in just one year and reach levels of success not seen in many years.
The turnaround began in 2001 when Smith became the fourth coach in the Lafayette women's basketball program's 33-year history. She begins her 16th season overall as a collegiate head coach and opens the 2009-10 season with 164 career wins. The 2006-07 team posted a 5-9 record in league play, marking the most wins in conference games since a 7-5 mark in 1997-98, and the 2005-06 season was highlighted by a win over Patriot League powerhouse and defending champion Holy Cross at Kirby Sports Center. The Feb. 4 triumph capped a season in which the Leopards managed the most wins since the 1998-99 campaign.
Before coaching at Lafayette, Smith compiled a record of 113-68 (.624) at Muhlenberg, a NCAA Division III institution located in nearby Allentown, Pa. During her tenure, she led the women's basketball program to five straight Centennial Conference East Division Championship appearances (1996-2000) at a school that had never before won a division title. Two of those seasons, 1996-97 and 1997-98, resulted in Centennial Conference championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. In 1997-98, Smith led Muhlenberg to its first victory in a NCAA Tournament game.
Smith's 1995-96 Muhlenberg team recorded a school-record 19 wins, while the performances of her 1997-98 and 1998-99 squads earned her nominations for NCAA District 4 Coach of the Year honors.
Prior to coaching at Muhlenberg, Smith spent 14 years (1983-1997) at North Warren Regional High School in Blairstown, N.J., as a physical education teacher and coach of numerous sports. As the girls' varsity basketball coach for 11 years, she accumulated a 193-58 (.769) record and led her squads to the state championship game three times. Along the way, she received four Coach of the Year honors from the local media, including being named Coach of the Year in 1989-90 by both the Express Times and Newark Star Ledger. The New Jersey Herald also selected Smith its Coach of the Year in 1988-89 and again in 1992-93.
Smith is a 1982 graduate of East Stroudsburg University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education. She finished her playing career by being named MVP in her senior season. Smith began her coaching career as an assistant coach at her alma mater during the 1983-84 season. Smith completed a master's degree in Sport Management from East Stroudsburg in December of 2004.
Smith resides in Forks Township, Pa.
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