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MEN'S BASKETBALL: South Dakota tabs UND graduate Craig Smith as head coach

VERMILLION, S.D. — Craig Smith, a Stephen, Minn., native and UND graduate, has been named the head men’s basketball coach at South Dakota.

Smith, who comes to the Coyotes from Nebraska where he was an assistant under former North Dakota State and Mayville State coach Tim Miles, becomes the 17th head coach in USD history.

He follows Dave Boots, who spent 25 seasons in Vermillion. Boots’ veteran assistant Joey James served as interim head coach for the 2013-14 season.

“When I laid out the vision for the program and the qualities and characteristics we were seeking, it was a pretty long list,” USD athletic director David Herbster said. “Craig Smith stood out among a very strong field of candidates and hit everything we were looking for to take our program to the next level.”

Smith was under Miles at NDSU from 2001-04, Colorado State from 2008-12 and Nebraska from 2012-14.

Smith served as head coach at Mayville State from 2004-07. With the Comets, he was 72-29 while advancing to three NAIA national tournaments, including a trip to the national championship game in 2007.

Smith graduated from UND in 1996.

“USD has made a terrific hire in Craig Smith,” Miles said. “Craig is a man of great integrity and has one of the best basketball minds I have ever been around. I believe in him unconditionally.”