June 17, 2008
DeKalb, Illinois - The student has become a teacher.
After spending the last four seasons as Ricardo Patton's Director of Basketball Operations, both at Colorado and Northern Illinois, Will Smith has been promoted to assistant coach for the Huskie men's basketball team.
"Will has done an exceptional job as our Director of Basketball Operations both here (at Northern Illinois) and at Colorado and has been extremely patient," Patton said. "He is a very focused and astute young man who has a bright future ahead of him as a coach."
Patton's relationship with the Memphis, Tennessee native goes back further, as Smith was his first recruit at Colorado in 1996. Smith has been honing his coaching chops ever since and plans to utilize all the knowledge that Patton has imparted upon him.
"I'm excited to be able to move to the next part of my coaching career," Smith said. "I'm looking forward to having another avenue to help develop our student-athletes on the court, as well as off.
"I want to thank Coach Patton for the opportunity and look forward to helping promote Northern Illinois basketball not only locally, but at the national level."
As the Huskies' Director of Basketball Operations, Smith was responsible for travel, practice plans, film exchange, scouting and academics. This is Smith's first coaching job.
Smith replaces John Anderson who accepted a job in the private sector.
The Huskies return six lettermen in 2008-09, including 2008 MAC Freshman of the Year, Darion Anderson (Chicago, Ill./Carver Military Academy).