ITTA BENA – Lee C. Smith, head softball coach and intramural director at Mississippi Valley State University since 2001 has been appointed Interim Athletic Director of the University, pending IHL Board approval.
“Coach Smith’s organizational skills and commitment to the success of student athletes on the field and in the classroom is what we need during this transition”, said MVSU Acting President Dr. Alfred Rankins.
Smith, a Valley alumnus, was hired as the women’s head softball coach in 2001 and has high standards of excellence for the student athletes. As head softball coach, he led the women’s softball team to victory in eight Southwestern Athletic Conference titles in the last 10 seasons along with eight NCAA tournament appearances. Forty-five of his players have been National Fast Pitch Coaches Association Scholar Athletes; the team has an overall grade point average of 3.20; 95 percent of his student athletes graduated successfully; and in 2008, the team ranked 32nd among Division I all-academic programs by the National Fast Pitch Coaches Association.
Other highlights of Smith’s leadership include:
· 61 student athletes being named All-SWAC
· MVSU became the first HBCU softball team to win a game in the 2004 NCAA Tournament
· In that same tournament, they became first HBCU softball team to win multiple games
· Being named SWAC Coach of the Year seven times in his 12 years at MVSU