ASHEVILLE, N.C. – UNC Asheville Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone announced today the retirement of head baseball coach Tom Smith.


“We will be forever grateful to the work done by Coach Smith during his time here at UNC Asheville,” declared Cone. “Tom’s teams always played hard and did an outstanding job in the classroom and off the field. We may have not had the success we had all hoped for on the field but it certainly wasn’t for a lack of effort by Tom Smith and his staff.


“Working with our human resources department, a search will begin immediately,” Cone added.


“I’ve really enjoyed my time here at UNC Asheville but it’s time for me to slow down a little bit and spend some time with my family,” explained Smith. “We just had our first grandchild a few days ago, and my wife and I want to spoil him over the next few years.


“I wished we had won a few more games during my tenure, but I’m proud of the work we put inand the effort we showed,” added Smith. “This past year has really been frustrating as we’ve been in so many close games but just not able to finish them off. However, our guys never quit and battled right to the end last weekend.


“UNC Asheville is a great school that I have been very proud to be a part of over the last seven years,” Smith also said. “I appreciate everything Chancellor Ponder, Ms. Cone and everybody who has tried to help us. We’ve made a lot of strides over the years and the future is bright for this program.”


Smith has been the Bulldogs head coach the past five years and led Asheville to an 86-177 overall record.  He came to UNC Asheville as a volunteer assistant in the 2008 season and was then promoted to an assistant coach position in 2009. He was hired in the summer of 2009 to succeed Willie Stewart who resigned in June of that year.


Smith led the Bulldogs to trips to the Big South Tournament in 2010 and 2012. His best season was the 2012 campaign as Asheville finished the season with a 25-30 record and a fourth-place 12-12 finish in the Big South Conference.