STOCKTON, Calif. – Widely regarded as the most successful Canadian college basketball coach of all time, Dave Smart was named Head Coach of the Pacific men’s basketball program Wednesday by Director of Athletics Adam Tschuor.

Smart arrives at Pacific after serving as Assistant Coach at Texas Tech this past season. He previously amassed 656 victories as the head coach at Carleton University over 18 seasons.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to lead the Tigers into a new era. Adam and President Callahan have an ambitious and exciting vision for the program, and I thank them for entrusting me with the task of bringing that vision to life. I also want to thank Grant and everyone else at Texas Tech for the opportunity they gave me last season, which was a tremendous experience. Emily, Gabe, Theo, and I can’t wait to get to Stockton to put down roots and get to work,” Smart said.

Smart’s background comes from a country that has represented the most NBA players outside the U.S. for 10 consecutive seasons, per Furthermore, Canada ranked top-five in last year’s final FIBA World Rankings.

At the collegiate level, 135 Canadians were on Division I rosters this season and 21 competed in the NCAA Tournament. It included NCAA Naismith Player of the Year Zach Edey (Purdue), a native of Toronto, Ontario.

This past season at Texas Tech, Smart helped the Red Raiders advance to the NCAA Tournament and finish 23-11 overall and 11-7 in a loaded Big 12 Conference. It came after Texas Tech ended 16-16 overall and 5-13 in conference the year prior to his arrival.

At Carleton, Smart racked up a 591-48 record against U SPORTS (the primary governing body for collegiate athletics in Canada) competition during that time and earned the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as U SPORTS Coach of the Year a record 10 times.

Smart guided Carleton to 13 U SPORTS Men’s Basketball National Championships in 2003-07, 2009, 2011-15, 2017 and 2019. It included 11 OUA Conference Championships, the most by any coach in conference history.

Smart’s Carleton teams recorded wins during summer tours against numerous top NCAA programs including Wisconsin, Baylor, Wichita State, Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Providence, Vanderbilt, Alabama, Memphis, TCU, Siena, South Dakota State, Northeastern and Northern Colorado.

“I could not be more excited than I am now to have Coach Smart join our Tigers family and lead our men’s basketball program. He is one of the most respected basketball minds in the world and someone who will not only show his energy and enthusiasm on the sidelines but in the community as well. As exciting as all of that is I am most energized by the possibilities Coach will bring to us from a recruiting standpoint. His connections worldwide are vast and will open pipelines to us not only unique to the history of Pacific Tigers basketball but to the college game as we know it,” Tschuor said.

Prior to the 2019-20 season, Smart moved into the role of Director of Basketball Operations at Carleton. He helped the Ravens win another national championship that season.

Along with collegiate coaching experience, Smart was named the assistant coach of the Canadian Senior Men’s Basketball National team by head coach Jay Triano. In June 2013, The Development Men’s National Team (DMNT) completed a sweep of the Four Nations’ International Invitational Tournament with a perfect 9-0 record in registering three victories over each of the United States, Latvia and host-nation China.

Smart was also the assistant coach of the Senior Canadian Men’s National Basketball team that finished third at the FIBA Americas Championship in Mexico City. Smart helped Canada to 8-2 record, including a one-point victory over Mexico in the bronze medal game. At the 2016 FIBA Rio Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila, Philippines, coach Smart continued in his role as assistant coach of the SMNT.

He has a record for producing pro-level talent with his collegiate players transitioning to professional basketball, including: Paul Larmand, Josh Poirier, Osvaldo Jeanty, Aaron Doornekamp, Stu Turnbull, Ryan Bell, Kevin McCleery, Willy Manigat, Tyson Hinz, Thomas Scrubb, Philip Scrubb, Guillaume Payen Boucard, Kaza Kajami-Keane, Connor Wood, Ryan Ejim and Joe Rocca.

Smart was named recipient of the Pat O’Brien Award as Ravens’ Coach of the Year on six occasions (2003, 2005, 2008-2009, 2015 & 2019).

A graduate of Queen’s University, Smart was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame in 2021. He was also a coaching consultant for the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League, focusing on defensive mindsets and player attitude, and was the general manager of the Ottawa BlackJacks of the Canadian Basketball League.

What They’re Saying
“Dave Smart is one of the greatest coaches in all of basketball. Coach Smart’s ability to win speaks for itself but his understanding of how to help people grow is what separates him.” – Grant McCasland, Texas Tech Head Coach

“Dave is one of the best basketball coaches in the world. His experience with FIBA basketball and his success at Carleton University give him a diverse and unique background. I have the utmost respect for Dave and his teaching of the game.” – Mick Cronin, UCLA Head Coach

“Dave Smart is as bright as anyone I’ve met in our business. His defensive philosophy and techniques have been helpful to us. We always look for opportunities to learn from Dave.” – Jay Wright, former Villanova Head Coach

“One of the best basketball minds I have encountered. His players are always the most prepared and always execute the exact game plan. He has been a most valued assistant for me, and a huge part of our National Team for years.” – Jay Triano, NBA Coach/Canadian Senior Men’s National Team

“One of the most forward thinking coaches I have ever been around. He challenges everyone around him to think beyond their own boundaries and beliefs.” – Bryan Gates, Philadelphia 76ers Assistant Coach

“During my 10 years at Lakehead University, my greatest learning experiences were the time spent watching film preparing to matchup with Dave Smart and the Carleton Ravens. His success as a coach is matched only by his knowledge and innovation on the court.” – Scott Morrison, Utah Jazz Assistant Coach

“Dave Smart has one of the most brilliant and innovative minds in all of basketball and his coaching is respected internationally. I have known Coach Smart for decades, and competed against his teams many times. In doing so, I always learn something about the game and come away a better coach. His defensive system is extremely well thought out, and is designed to exploit the other team’s weaknesses and minimize its strengths. From concept to detail, his system is as good as I have seen, and without a doubt a main reason for his unprecedented success throughout the years,” – Bill Coen, Northeastern University Head Coach

“I hadn’t succeeded in Division I like I thought I would. Dave knows how to help you push past the limits you set on yourself. Before I got to Carleton, I thought I worked hard, but I was barely scratching the surface. Dave makes a player understand how to always do the right thing on the basketball court in any given moment. I don’t understand why he doesn’t get any recognition – he’s the best college coach in North America.” – Kaza Keone, former player at Carleton

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