New women’s hoops coach brings experience, energy to ISU
A former player and 26-year veteran of Division I college coaching, Barb Smith was welcomed to campus in April as the head women’s basketball coach. She replaces Stephanie Glance, who left after three seasons to become the head coach at Columbia University.
Smith inherits a program that has enjoyed seven consecutive winning seasons. The Redbirds have been to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament six times and secured one NCAA Tournament bid during that seven-year period.
A native of Ohio with a health education degree and M.B.A., Smith played at Ohio State. The Buckeyes won four Big Ten championships and made three NCAA appearances during her years on the team.
She has served as the head coach at San Diego State and as the associate head coach at Minnesota. She was lead assistant and recruiting coordinator at Colorado, as well as an assistant at Iona.
Smith comes to Illinois State from Saint Louis University, where she was associate head coach. She brings a tremendous pedigree into her second head coaching job and is known as a prominent recruiter, with more than 10 top-20 nationally ranked classes.
“I am very excited to be a part of the Redbird family and to join a program that has won no matter who has been coaching and no matter which student-athletes have been here,” Smith said.
She shared that the team will play “an up-tempo style of basketball.” Noting ISU has the unusual standing in the top three of the Missouri Valley Conference, Smith stated the team will aim for another NCAA Tournament berth. The goal is within reach, as Smith sees ISU as “a gold mine” with amazing potential.
“We’re not working from the lower end of the conference,” she said. “We’re going to bust through from the top, and that’s exciting.”