UW Huskies hire Olympia native as new baseball head coach

Jul 9, 2024, 12:25 PM | Updated: 12:33 pm

UW Huskies baseball general...

A general view of the stadium exterior prior to a UW Huskies game. (Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

(Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The UW Huskies have found their new baseball head coach, and it’s a choice with local ties.

UW Huskies baseball coach leaving to be assistant in SEC

Olympia native Eddie Smith is coming to Montlake after a three-year tenure as coach at Utah Valley.

The University of Washington announced Smith as the 25th coach in the history of the Huskies baseball program on Tuesday.

“Coach Eddie Smith is the ideal fit for Washington baseball,” athletic director Pat Chun said in a statement. “Coach Smith is a leader, an exceptional coach and a proven winner. His roots are firmly entrenched in the state of Washington and he has a full understanding of the history and tradition of the UW.”

Smith comes to UW after turning Utah Valley around from a 10-47 record in 2021 prior to his hiring to finishing 34-23 in 2023 and reaching a program-best 18 wins in WAC play this year.

“I could not be more excited to be the head baseball coach at the University of Washington,” Smith said. “I want to thank Pat Chun and (UW baseball sport administrator) Jordan Betts for their trust and belief in me to lead these young men. This program offers everything a player could want or need for their development and the opportunity win championships. It will be an exciting time to build Husky baseball as we enter the Big Ten and our program will work with a relentless pursuit toward winning championships.”

The 40-year-old Smith previously coached in Washington state from 2014-17 when he led the Lower Columbia Community College program in Longview. He coached Lower Columbia to a pair of NWAC championships and won the National Coach of the Year award in 2015 from the American Baseball Coaches Association.

After playing as an infielder in college at Notre Dame, Smith earned a strong reputation in the college ranks as a hitting coach, a role he held at perennial powerhouse LSU in 2020 and 2021 as well as Tulane from 2018-19. He also had stints as an assistant with Virginia (2007-11), Santa Clara (2012) and Notre Dame (2013).

While at Tulane, Smith had additional duties as the program’s recruiting coordinator.

Previous Washington head baseball coach Jason Kelly left the Huskies late last month to become pitching coach at Texas A&M.

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