TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Tracy Smith, who led Indiana to back-to-back Big Ten championships and to the Hoosiers’ first College World Series appearance last year, has been hired as Arizona State’s head coach.
Athletic director Ray Anderson on Tuesday announced the hiring of Smith, who replaces Tim Esmay.
The 48-year-old Smith was head coach for nine years at Indiana, where he won more than 40 games each of the past two seasons and led the Hoosiers to back-to-back Big Ten championships.
Arizona State was 33-24 overall this season and was third in the Pac-12 at 19-11. The school has won five national championships, fourth-most among all schools, but none since 1981. The Sun Devils’ last CWS appearance was in 2010.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever faced,” Smith said. “The truth of the matter is, at this stage of my life, I am ready for a new challenge. Indiana is a part of who I am and always will be. I want to thank President McRobbie and Fred Glass for helping build this program into what it has become. I also would like to thank Rick Greenspan for giving me the opportunity to be at Indiana in the first place. Most importantly, I would like to thank the players – past and present – for being the heart and soul of Indiana Baseball now and in the future. I have loved my time at Indiana University, and I am proud of what we have achieved. I look forward to IU’s continued success.”