Xavier University alumni Gary Smith has been appointed as the new Alcorn State University men's basketball coach. With this decision, Smith will leave his alma mater after almost a decade of serving.
In his nine seasons as a XULA Gold, Smith has provided a lot to the men's basketball team. In his four years as a player, from 2012 to 2016, he won 92 games and losing 40 while starting 131 games, a XULA record. He also won 93 games while serving as a graduate assistant from 2016 to 2021.
In total, Smith notched 185 wins against 94 losses for a .663 winning percentage in his tenure in New Orleans. He won six Gulf Coach Athletic Conference Championships while also qualifying for seven NAIA national tournaments out of almost ten.
Smith said that he is excited to work with one of his mentors, Landon Bussie, at Alcorn State Braves. The New Orleans native said that his former coach is an inspiration for him.
Like Smith, Landon Bussie is a XULA graduate and previously worked for Gold's men's basketball team. He was hired in April 2020 as Alcorn State Braves' new head coach.
Smith's new team, Alcorn State University, is an NCAA Division I school. Alcorn State University Braves competes in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, which mainly comprises historically black universities and colleges.
The Braves appeared in the men's basketball national tournament six times; they last appeared in 2002. Their three wins at the national stage are the best record of any SWAC team.
"I am excited for the opportunity to work with one my coaching mentors, Landon Bussie. Coach Bussie has been a major inspiration in my growth as a young coach. I thank Xavier for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream. I thank all the coaches who have played an integral part in my development: Dannton Jackson, Alfred Williams, Tyrone Mitchell, Ryan DeRousselle, Nick Haywood, Devin Andrew and Rhossi Carron. Working with coach Williams has been a joy. He is an exceptional man who deserves the highest praise," said Smith about his coaching inspirations.
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