FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Purdue Sports) – After three seasons with the Purdue women’s basketball program, assistant coach Christy Smith accepted a position at the University of Arkansas on Monday to become its top assistant women’s basketball coach.
A four-time honorable mention All-American for the Razorbacks, Smith helped the Boilermakers to a pair of Big Ten Tournament titles and three NCAA Tournament appearances in her tenure.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled for Coach Smith to have this opportunity,” said Boilermaker head coach Sharon Versyp. “Being able to return to your alma mater in a coaching role is a very special thing, and we wish her the best in her new role at Arkansas.”
“I knew right away when I spoke with Christy that she shared the same passion and commitment to the Razorbacks that I do,” said Arkansas head coach Jimmy Dykes. “She knows what it is like to be a Razorback, and she has taken that experience as a player and poured it into her coaching career in her home state of Indiana. She is a home-run hire for the entire Razorback nation.”
Prior to her time in West Lafayette, Smith spent three seasons at Valparaiso as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator with the Crusaders. She also served as the head varsity girls’ basketball coach at Harrison High School in West Lafayette, and before that she served as an assistant coach at Lafayette Jefferson High School and at Lake Country Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas, where she worked with Whitney Hand, a standout player at the University of Oklahoma.
The Oxford, Ind., native has a rich basketball background. In the space of 12 months, Smith led Team USA to gold at the World University Games, Arkansas to the NCAA Final Four and the Charlotte Sting into the WNBA playoffs.
In addition to her All-America status as a point guard for the Razorbacks, she was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll three times, earned first team All-SEC as a senior after twice being named second team All-SEC. In 1995, she earned SEC Freshman of the Year recognition.
After a stellar senior season, Smith was drafted No. 17 overall by the Charlotte Sting in 1998 and played two seasons for the WNBA franchise.
Smith was inducted into the University of Arkansas Hall of Honor in 2005, the fifth women’s basketball player at the school to receive such an honor.
Smith has two degrees from Arkansas. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science in 1998 and went on to earn a master’s degree in biomechanics in 2001.