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Jackie Smith, who most recently served as an assistant coach at George Washington University, has been named the new head women’s basketball coach at Connecticut College.
“We are very excited to welcome Jackie Smith into our community,” said Fran Shields, the Katherine Wenk Christoffers ’45 Director of Athletics. “We are confident that she can take a healthy existing program even higher given her great mentors and her valuable coaching and recruiting experience. Jackie has made it clear that she will also place a strong emphasis on the student-athlete experience.”
Smith will be serving as a head coach for the first time in her professional career after being the top assistant under her longtime mentor Jennifer Rizzotti, a UConn alumna and 2013 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, for the past five seasons at Hartford and George Washington. The Colonials most notably advanced to the 2018 NCAA Tournament by winning the Atlantic 10 Conference crown and also qualified for the 2017 WNIT Tournament in her first season on the sidelines at the institution.
At George Washington, Smith served as the program’s recruiting coordinator and was heavily involved with the team’s scouting, analysis and game strategy for the past two seasons. She worked directly with the guards and successfully developed two all-conference players, including the MVP of the 2018 Atlantic 10 Tournament. Furthermore, the assistant coach was the program’s admissions, academic and alumni relations liaison.
Smith came to George Washington with Rizzotti after spending three years with her in the same role at Hartford, her alma mater. She began her professional career as an assistant coach for two seasons at Stonehill College in Massachusetts.
“I am thrilled about this opportunity,” Smith said. “The athletic department’s pursuit of excellence, both academically and athletically, will match perfectly with my values. I am also thankful to be taking over a program which has dedicated student-athletes that have had success in the classroom and on the court, and I look forward to building upon what former head coach Brian Wilson was able to accomplish.”
A native of Westfield, Massachusetts, Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education with a minor in sociology from Hartford in 2011. She will begin her duties at Connecticut College on Aug. 4.