UTEP Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rodney Terry named Lamont Smith to his staff on Wednesday, adding Smith to a staff that has two coaches in El Paso already working.
“I’m excited to hire Lamont as my top assistant here at UTEP,” Terry said. “From afar I’ve had the pleasure of watching him successfully recruit, develop and coach young men at some of the top programs in men’s college basketball. Coach Smith is a tireless worker who understands the commitment needed to build a program that is able to sustain success at a high level. He will play a key role in helping me establish a competitive program that educates and develops young men into productive adults.”
“My family and I are ecstatic about the opportunity to join the UTEP basketball program,” Smith said. “It’s like a dream to have the opportunity to be back in my home state of Texas coaching at a university with such a rich tradition of success in college basketball. Working with one of the top coaches in Rodney Terry made this an easy decision for me.”
Smith most recently served as the head coach at the University of San Diego for three seasons. The Toreros made significant strides under his leadership, posting marks of 9-21 in 2015-16, 13-18 in 2016-17 and 20-14 in 2017-18. San Diego’s West Coast Conference record also climbed from 4-14 in 2015-16 to 9-9 this season.
The 2017-18 Toreros featured three All-Conference players – senior forward Isaiah Pineiro (first team), junior guard Isaiah Wright (second team) and junior guard Olin Carter III (honorable mention) – and ended their season in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Their non-conference schedule was highlighted by victories at NM State (65-60) and Colorado (69-59)
Smith coached a second team All-WCC Player (senior forward Brett Bailey) during the 2016-17 season, in which the Toreros knocked off eventual NIT participant BYU at home.
A native of The Colony, Texas, Smith has previous assistant coaching stints at Saint Louis (1999-2001), Saint Mary’s (2001-07), Santa Clara (2007-08), Arizona State (2008-12), Washington (2012-13) and New Mexico (2013-15).
He returned to San Diego, his alma mater, after helping New Mexico to 42 wins in two years as Associate Head Coach. The Lobos put together a stellar 2013-14 campaign, finishing 27-7 and 15-3 in the Mountain West Conference while reaching the NCAA Tournament. With Smith overseeing the defense, UNM yielded 66.1 points per game while holding opponents to a .389 field goal percentage.
It wasn’t widely reported at the time, but two former Fresno assistants under Terry, Nick Matson and Brian Burton were also hired by Terry.
UTEP is still missing an announced Director of Basketball Opertations position.