Submitted by South Puget Sound Community College

South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) is excited to welcome the newest member of the Clipper Athletics coaching staff, Zachary Smith. Coach Smith will serve the dual role of Head Men’s Basketball Coach and an Educational & Career Planner at SPSCC.

Coach Smith brings both coaching and advising experience to his role with the Clippers. As the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach and Program Assistant/Certification Officer at Northwest University (NU), he recruited and coached standout student-athletes, including one National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All American and four All Cascade Conference nominees, while making two Cascade Conference playoff appearances. He also coached for NBC Camps for five years and Idaho Select Basketball for four years.

“Coach Smith is really passionate about coaching and the improvement of all students,” said Vernell Willingham, Director of Athletics. “Coming from a four-year university, he has the expertise to guide students where they want to be. We’re happy to have someone who not only fits with our department but helps us grow, as well.”

Coach Smith shared that, “I want to get to know as many people as I can, not only my players but also the students I’ll be advising. I want to help point them in the right direction for their future, help them figure out who they are, what makes them happy, and what they want to do with their lives.”

As an athlete himself, Coach Smith played for the University of Montana Western, NU, and Anzola Basket in Bologna, Italy. While in Italy, he coached youth teams for Anzola Basket Club and volunteered his time teaching English to children in the community.

“It’s always been about paying it forward,” said Coach Smith. “I’ve been pretty fortunate to have some great mentors and role models in my life. I feel it’s my purpose to pay it forward and help the younger generation achieve their dreams,” said Coach Smith. “I’m thankful for this opportunity. I’d especially like to thank Dave Pelkey, Valerie Robertson, and Vernell Willingham for helping to make this happen.”

Coach Smith received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management and Health and Fitness from NU in 2016. He will receive his Master of Education in Athletic Leadership from NU in August of 2022.

He is currently recruiting for the 2022-23 Men’s Basketball team.

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