|Jay Smith spent three seasons as the head men's basketball coach at Kalamazoo College.|
Kalamazoo head men's basketball coach Jay Smith is returning to Division I Michigan to join Juwan Howard's staff as the Wolverines' director of player personnel and development. Smith was an assistant coach at Michigan for seven seasons, including during the Wolverines' "Fab Five" run from 1991 through 1993.
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The University of Michigan and Kalamazoo College announced the move in separate releases.
"There are many people who have helped me throughout my career; however, Jay Smith is someone special who I have a deep connection with and the utmost respect for," said Howard in Michigan's release. "He has such an incredible passion for the game, and his ability to relate with young men is going to be something invaluable for us. We are very fortunate to have him return to Ann Arbor and join our staff."
Smith was an assistant coach under Steve Fisher from 1989 through 1996 and helped recruit Howard and the rest of Michigan's famous freshman class of Howard, Ray Jackson, Jimmy King, Jalen Rose and Chris Webber. The Wolverines made two trips to the Final Four in 1993 and 1996, though the results from those seasons and others were later vacated.
After leaving Michigan, Smith was the head coach at Division II Grand Valley State for one season and later the head coach at Division I Central Michigan for nine seasons. Smith arrived at Kalamazoo in 2016 and went 22-52 over three campaigns, including a 7-18 finish last season.
"There are always interesting twists in this game," said Smith in Michigan's release. "That can be said for this situation. I have been through plenty over the last few years and loved the opportunity Kalamazoo trusted in me. However, the chance to help out Juwan and return to Michigan is something my family and I are excited about and thankful for."
Kalamazoo is the fourth MIAA men's basketball program to turn over its head men's basketball coach this offseason, joining Alma, Calvin and Olivet. Calvin and Alma also changed their head women's basketball coaches.