Former Columbia coach Kyle Smith named coach at Washington State

Kyle Smith went from the Big Apple to the City by the Bay in 2016.

Three seasons later, he’s headed for the Palouse.

The former Columbia coach was announced as the new Washington State men’s basketball coach Wednesday after three seasons at the helm at San Francisco.

Smith rejuvenated Columbia’s program during his tenure as coach there from 2010 to 2016, going 101-82 (.552), the most victories in a six-year span at Columbia since 1965-71.

Smith’s teams got to 20 or more wins in each of his three seasons leading the Dons, who had done so just twice in the previous 31 years. San Francisco was the runner-up in the 2018 CBI under Smith, who also memorably led Columbia to the 2016 CIT championship.

Washington State announced that Smith was signed to a six-year contract at $1.4 million annually and will be introduced formally at a press conference Monday.

During his time in Morningside Heights, Smith established himself as one of the Ivy League’s most colorful coaches and one who valued analytics greatly his squads routinely playing at a very slow pace with a high three-point attempt rate.

Washington State’s move makes Smith the first current or former Ivy head coach to be hired by a power-five conference since Boston College hired Steve Donahue away from Cornell following the Big Red’s Sweet 16 run in 2010.