Flagler College Director of Athletics Jud Damon has announced Maurice Smith as the new women’s basketball head coach. Smith joins the Saints after spending the past nine years as the head coach at fellow Peach Belt Conference member Georgia College.
Smith becomes the 19th coach in the program’s history. He replaces Erika Lang-Montgomery, who resigned from Flagler on May 3 to accept a position on the women’s basketball staff at the University of Florida. Lang-Montgomery had 111 wins in her 10 seasons leading the Saints, the most by any Flagler women’s basketball coach.
In addition to regular season success, Smith brings with him to the Ancient City a wealth of postseason experience and a history of developing high-achieving leaders within his program.
“Mo Smith has established himself as one of the most respected women’s basketball coaches in the Southeast and we are thrilled to welcome him to our Flagler family,” said Damon. “Beyond his proven track record as a highly successful head coach in our league, Mo is a tremendous human being who will serve as an inspirational mentor and leader for our student-athletes.”
During his time in Milledgeville, Smith coached the Bobcats to three Peach Belt Conference Tournament championship games. The Bobcats won the title in his first season (2010-11) and made an appearance in the NCAA Division II Southeast Regional the same year. Georgia College knocked off the host school, USC Aiken, to win the tournament championship that year and was led by the tournament’s most valuable player Chimere Jordan. Smith’s coaching resume includes 131 wins in his nine seasons at Georgia College, second most of any women’s basketball coach in the program’s history.
“I am incredibly grateful to President Joyner and Mr. Damon for giving me this opportunity to lead the Flagler women’s basketball program,” said Smith. “I’d like to thank the search committee for their tireless efforts in this process.
“I am forever thankful to Georgia College for the last 20 years they have provided for me as a student athlete and as a professional,” added Smith. “My family and me are excited about beginning this next chapter in our lives. After visiting Flagler and meeting so many people, I knew instantly this was something that I wanted to be a part of. It is all about fit for me and I feel that this is a great fit for my family and I. This is a tremendous institution and community that we are looking forward to becoming an integral part of. My staff and I are looking forward to leading these tremendous student-athletes. We will work hard to ensure that our student-athletes graduate with the proper tools to become effective leaders of tomorrow. Our goal will be to help them excel academically, athletically, and in the community.”
Smith coached six players to all-conference honors, including Shanteona Keys who is one of only five players to earn all-league honors all four years. She was one of the most decorated players ever in the PBC as she was an Elite 15 Award recipient, the PBC Scholar Athlete of the Year, a two-time CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America®, and an honorable mention WBCA All-American.
The Americus, Georgia native spent 18 years at Georgia College. He arrived as a student-athlete in 1999 after spending two years at Wallace Community College in Dothan, Alabama. He earned second-team all-conference honors in 2001. The year prior, Smith played on one of the best teams in the history of the program as he was the sixth-man on the 1999-2000 elite eight squad.
Smith became a student assistant for the men’s team in 2003-04 and continued as a graduate assistant until 2005-06. That season the Bobcats won the conference title and advanced to the NCAA sweet 16. He switched to the women’s team the next season as an assistant coach before taking the head coaching reigns in 2010-11. Two of the teams he helped coach as an assistant, 2006-07 and 2009-10, posted 20-win seasons and the 2006-07 team advanced to the NCAA sweet 16.
Smith earned his bachelor’s in psychology in 2001 and added a master’s in public administration in 2006. He married the former Martine Thomas, also a Georgia College alum, and they have two daughters, Jaiden and Olivia.DII PBC