Aug. 23, 2012
SEATTLE - Washington Basketball Coach Lorenzo Romar announced that Lamont Smith, who has spent the past four years as an assistant coach at Arizona State, will join the Huskies' staff in the same capacity pending a background check.
Romar is very familiar with Smith, having hired the Texas native as a graduate assistant at Saint Louis from 1999-2001.
"We are excited to welcome Lamont Smith on our staff," Romar said following the Huskies ninth of 10 practices for their upcoming foreign tour. "Lamont is very energetic and a dynamic recruiter.
"I know Lamont really well," Romar added. "I was able to give him his first job and I coached against him when he was a player at the University of San Diego. He has a great basketball mind and will have a big impact on our program."
In addition to hiring Smith, Paul Fortier will now serve as the Director of Player Personnel and Player Development. Fortier has spent the past seven years as an assistant on Romar's bench. He will continue to help mentor and teach current Huskies, plus have a vital role in maintaining a high standard of recruiting practices.
"Paul brings a lot of value to our program and he will excel in his role as the Director of Player Personnel and Player Development. He will be vital in ensuring that Washington remains one of the top programs in the nation."
For Smith, the opportunity to be re-united with Romar, who has won two regular season conference titles and two Pac-10 Tournament titles over the last four years, was too good for him to pass up.
"I have always really watched his career and the success he has had," Smith said of Romar. "Any time you can coach with a man that has his type of character and work ethic, you just kind of gravitate towards that. I am very excited that I will be able to wake up every day and help Washington build on the success they have had and help them win championships."
While at Arizona State, the Sun Devils had a pair of 20-win seasons with Smith on the bench and advanced to the NCAA Second Round in 2009. Smith also played a vital role in developing 2009 Pac-10 Player of the Year James Harden.
Prior to joining Herb Sendek's staff at Arizona State, Smith was at Santa Clara from 2007-08 as Kerry Keating's top assistant. He helped recruit one of the top classes in the West Coast Conference during his time with the Broncos.
Smith spent 2001-2007 as an assistant on the staff of Randy Bennett at Saint Mary's before joining Santa Clara. Bennett and Smith knew each other from their time on Romar's Saint Louis staff.
Saint Mary's was 2-27 the year before Bennett and Smith arrived, and the Gaels won nine games the first year, 15 the second, 19 in the third and a school record 25 in 2004-05. The 2004-05 team made the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in the history of the program while the 2003-04 team set a school record by scoring 2,377 points. In the first four seasons he was at SMC, the Gaels led the WCC in scoring defense.
Smith, a native of Colony, Texas, got his coaching start as a graduate assistant coach at Saint Louis. While at Saint Louis, Smith's duties with the Billikens included coordinating the team's video editing and film exchange, while assisting with team recruiting, scouting and strength and conditioning programs.
Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of San Diego in 1998 and was a member of the men's basketball team from 1994-99. He was named the Toreros' Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999 and served as the team captain from 1997-99.
COACH SMITH COACHING EXPERIENCE
--Assistant Coach, Arizona State (2008-2012) --Assistant Coach, Santa Clara (2007-2008) --Assistant Coach, St. Mary's (2001-2007) --Graduate Assistant Coach, Saint Louis (1999-2001)
COACH SMITH PLAYING EXPERIENCE
--University of San Diego (1994-99)
--University of San Diego Defensive Player of the Year (1996-97 and 1998-99) --University of San Diego Team Captain (1997-99)