SALT LAKE CITY — Utah State has found its successor to Tim Duryea.
Two weeks after Duryea was fired as the Aggies' men's basketball coach, the school announced Monday that Craig Smith will take over as head coach of the program.
Smith spent the past four seasons as the head coach at South Dakota, compiling a 79-55 record. He coached the Coyotes to a Div.-I era program record 26 wins this season and led the team to national postseason tournaments the past two years, including the NIT in 2016-17 and the College Basketball Invitational this year.
"Our family and I are pumped to join Utah State University and the community of Logan," Smith said in a USU press release. "Utah State men's basketball has tremendous leadership from the top in President (Noelle) Cockett, athletic director John Hartwell, and all the way down. It was easy to see and feel that our visions were aligned when it comes to running a successful basketball program."
Smith will be formally introduced as the Aggies' new coach at a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Wayne Estes Center.
Smith is no stranger to the Mountain West Conference. He served as an assistant coach at Colorado State from 2008-12. He has 22 years of coaching experience at the collegiate level, including seven as a head coach. In addition to his time at South Dakota, Smith spent three years as head coach at NAIA Mayville State. Smith also spent two seasons as an assistant at Nebraska of the Big Ten.
"When we started this process two weeks ago we identified several characteristics we wanted in our next head coach — high energy, high character, a proven recruiter and proven player development, to name a few," Hartwell said in a release. "We believe we have not only checked all the boxes, but that we have hit a home run with the hiring of Craig Smith.
"Craig has been a winner at every level. Craig, his wife Darcy, and their family, will be tremendous assets to Utah State University and Cache Valley. We look forward to Craig leading our team to the high levels of success that Aggie basketball has experienced in our storied history."
The Utah State program has struggled in recent years. In three seasons under Duryea, the Aggies went 47-49 — including a 17-17 mark this year — and never reached a national postseason tournament. The Aggies last played in the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
During his college career, Smith has been a part of coaching staffs for 10 teams that reached the postseason. That includes reaching the NCAA Tournament with Colorado State in 2012 and Nebraska in 2014.
He's also been named conference coach of the year three times — in 2006, 2007 and 2017 — and was named NAIA II National Coach of the Year in 2007, when Mayville State was the NAIA national runner-up.
"Utah State has a rich tradition of excellence with tremendous fan support. The Dee Glen Smith Spectrum is one of the best home-court atmospheres in the country and I am amped to see 'The HURD' in full force. We are looking forward to making USU hoops a force in the Mountain West," Smith said in the press release.