The Houston Rockets and NBA Development League affiliate Rio Grande Valley Vipers today announced the hiring of Nevada Smith as head coach of the Vipers. Smith becomes the fifth head coach in Vipers history.
Smith (39-16) joins the Vipers after two seasons as the head coach of the Keystone College Giants in La Plume, Penn. During the 2012-13 season, the Giants compiled an 18-10 overall record. The Giants were 13-5 in Colonial State Athletic Conference (CSAC) action. The Giants finished the 2011-12 season with a 21-6 record. For the first time in school history, the Giants reached the CSAC Championship Game in both seasons under Smith.
Prior to joining Keystone, Coach Smith spent five years as an assistant coach at Ithaca College. During his time at Ithaca, the Bombers saw their best five-year stretch in program history, compiling a mark of 96-40. Over this period, Ithaca claimed three Empire 8 regular season championships in 2008, 2009 and 2011, and two NCAA Tournament berths in 2009 and 2011. That timeframe also included an ECAC title in 2010 and five appearances in the Empire 8 Championship Tournament.
Before joining Ithaca, Smith was at Allegheny College where he was an assistant varsity coach and the Gators head junior varsity coach for the 2005-06 season. Prior to his arrival at Allegheny, Smith served as head coach at Canton for the 2004-05 season, coaching one All-Region and two All-Conference picks. He also served as an assistant coach at St. Lawrence University from 2002-04, a stretch that saw the team compile a 34-18 mark, including a 2003-04 UCAA Regular Season title.
During his playing days, Smith was a four-year starter at Bethany College, scoring 1,255 points to rank fifth on the program TMs all-time scoring list. He led the nation in three-point field goals per game in 2000-01 and his 313 career three-point baskets rank 13th among all NCAA Division III players. As a senior, Smith helped the Bisons to a school-record 21 wins and the program TMs first NCAA playoff appearance in 20 years. He also demonstrated his athletic ability on the links for Bethany as a three-year team captain and a Second-Team All-PAC selection in golf.
Smith is a 2002 graduate of Bethany College and received his Master TMs from St. Lawrence University.
The defending NBA Development League Champion RGV Vipers will open the 2013-14 season on the road at Los Angeles on Nov. 23, followed by a road game at Bakersfield on Tuesday, Nov. 26.