John Smith enters his fifth season as the Associate Head Coach of Cal State Fullerton. This past year, he helped guide the Titans to their best record thus far during his tenure, with a 17-15 record and an invitation to the CIT Post Season Tournament. Smith played a pivotal part in Fullerton’s recruiting efforts; recruiting three All Big-West performers in (Tre Coggins – 1st Team, Lionheart Leslie – Honorable Mention, and Jackson Rowe – Freshman of the year).
"I am very happy that Coach Smith chose to join us as he brings a great deal of experience as a mentor, to not only our young men, but to myself," head coach Dedrique Taylor said. "His experience as a head coach will prove invaluable as he has built two very successful programs in Southern California. He is very well respected among his peers for his basketball knowledge and his ability to relate to his players, driving them to be their best both on and off the court. I am beyond elated to have him as a part of our staff."
Before arriving at Cal State Fullerton, Smith completed his ninth year as the head coach at Riverside City College, compiling a 196-87 (.693) overall record -- the second-highest win total in school history -- and leading the Tigers to four conference championships (2005, 2007, 2010, 2011), nine-postseason berths, five 20-win seasons, and the 2009 California state championship - - the school's first in 43 years since Hall of Fame Head Coach Jerry Tarkanian accomplished the feat three-straight times in the 1960's (1964-66). Riverside City College finished 19-9 and 9-3 in the Orange Empire Conference in 2012-13, earning Smith Southern California Coach of the Year honors in addition to his four previous Orange Empire Conference Coach of the Year trophies.
Prior to RCC, he spent four seasons as the head coach and Assistant Athletics Director at San Bernardino Valley College from 2000-04, posting an 88-40 overall record and a state championship tournament semifinal appearance in 2002-03, bringing his record as a head coach at the junior college level to 265-118 (.692). He was named the 2003 Foothill Conference Coach of the Year while leading the team to the league championship in his third season.
In 2016, The California Community College Men’s Basketball Coaches Association inducted Smith into the Hall of Fame for his outstanding work in building two programs and leading them to the State Tournament.
Smith's coaching resume also includes stops at Riverside's J.W. North High School, where he was the head coach of the freshman team and an assistant for the varsity squad that advanced to the CIF championship game, the College of Southern Idaho, Chaffey College, and Valley View High School in Moreno Valley, Calif. He also spent one season as the West Coast scout for the WNBA's Detroit Shock.
As a player, Smith was a two-time all-league and all-county selection at J.W. North High School before going on to play at UNLV from 1987-89. From there, he transferred to Dominican University in San Rafael, Calif., where he was an NAIA All-State Honorable Mention selection and all-conference honoree for his brother, Steve. He graduated from Dominican in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in psychology and also holds a master's degree in kinesiology from Azusa Pacific (2004).
Smith is married to Kelly Smith and they have three children. Jamal (20) is a redshirt sophomore with the Titans, Kianna (18) was a 2017McDonald’s All-American and currently is a freshman at University of California, and Kylee (14).