Ex-UO Star Smith Becomes School's Fifth Women's Basketball Coach

June 7, 2001

56k | 200k

Photo Gallery | Audio

EUGENE, Ore. - Bev Smith, who left the University of Oregon in 1982 as one of the best players in the history of the school's women's basketball program, will return to her alma mater as the Ducks' fifth head coach in their 28-year tenure, according to an announcement Thursday by Oregon Athletics Director Bill Moos.

The Salmon Arm, B.C., native, who has served as the Canadian National Team women's coach since 1997, replaces Jody Runge, who resigned the post April 30 following eight seasons at the helm.

Terms of her three-year contract call for an annual guaranteed University base salary of $105,000, plus an additional $60,000 from radio and television contracts with the Oregon Sports Network as well as shoe and apparel agreements with Nike. Additional compensation can be earned from other incentives that could push the maximum value of the pact to $182,500 annually.

The 41-year-old two-time Oregon All-American (1978-82) led Canada to a 10th-place finish at the 2000 Olympics at Sydney, in addition to leading the Canadian National Team to its best finish at the Pan Am Games in Winnipeg in 1999 with a silver medal. On an international level, she has coached and played in the Italian league for 15 years. She coached the Familia Schio Club team to second-place national finishes in Division I in 1999-00 and 1998-99. In 1996-97, Smith led Vivo Vicenzo to a first-place finish in Division II. She also served as the head coach at the University of British Columbia in 1988-89. Her first coaching stint came in 1985 as a player-coach for Ferrara in the Italian league.

She led the Oregon women's basketball program through its most successful era at that time, with the Ducks accumulating a 93-19 record, as well as a pair of AIAW and one NCAA national tournament appearances.

In her four-year Oregon career, Smith established school records for points scored in a single game (38), season (632) and career (2,063), one-game (26), season (376) and career rebounds (1,362), career assists (443), as well as single game (11), season (95) and career steals (349). The school's second-leading scorer and top rebounder of all time still holds no fewer than eight school records. A three-time Northwest Basketball League (NWBL) player of the year, Smith, who received a bachelor's degree in human performance, remains the Ducks' lone woman to garner first-team Kodak All-America honors (1981 and `82).

She also was a member of the University's inaugural Athletic Hall-of-Fame class in 1992.

Following her successful stint with the Ducks, she played for the Canadian National Team from 1978-88 through 1992-96, serving as the captain, and in the Italian league from 1982-96 for teams in Vicenza and Ferrara. She was selected to the All-World Team after leading Canada to third place at the World Championships at Seoul, Korea, in 1979. In 1984, she helped Canada to a fourth-place mark at the Olympics at Los Angeles. As a member of the Vivo Vicenza team, she won the Italian National Championship and the European Cup during the 1992-93 season. Smith retired from playing after the 1996 Olympics at Atlanta.

Smith graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary in 1978, leading her team to three provincal championships and an 89-game winning streak.

Oregon finished the 2000-01 year with a 17-12 overall record and an eighth straight NCAA tournament appearance, including 10-8 in the Pacific-10 Conference. The Ducks return eight letterwinners, including 2000 Pac-10 Player-of- the-Year Shaquala Williams, and single-season 3-point field goal record-holder Jamie Craighead, and are anticipating the addition of a highly-rated six-member freshman class.

Now on Pac-12 Network
3:30 AM PT

Airing on:

  • Pac-12 Network