TROY, Alabama – After serving as an assistant for 13 seasons, Mark Smartt
officially assumed the head coach duties for the Troy University baseball team on Tuesday. Smartt takes over following the retirement of Bobby Pierce, who had led the Trojans since 2003.
"First, I can't thank Bobby Pierce enough for what he has done for me and my family," Smartt said. "I'm honored to have the opportunity to coach at my alma mater and I'm looking forward to building on the success that the coaches before me have had with this program."
Smartt has accumulated 924 wins in 27 years as an NCAA player and coach. He was a member of Troy's 1986 and 1987 NCAA Division II National Championship teams and was a two-time All-Gulf South Conference player. Smartt finished with the third-highest career batting average in school history (.379) and currently ranks fourth in the category.
The 2005 Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Assistant Coach of the Year began his coaching career as a graduate assistant under Riddle in 1988. In 1990, Smartt became an assistant at the University of West Alabama and five years later was named head coach. During his time with the Tigers, UWA broke or tied 38 school records, produced two All-Americans, seven all-region selections and 10 All-GSC players. The 1992 UWA squad advanced to the NCAA Division II World Series.
"Troy obviously holds a special place in my heart," Smartt said. "This is a great program and a great university. We have high standards and great expectations here. My job is to continue that work and I'm proud that the leadership at Troy has the confidence and faith that I can take on this challenge."
In a press conference in August, Pierce, now the school's all-time winningest coach, announced he would be stepping down following the conclusion of the 2015 season. Smartt was named his successor the same day.
For more information on Troy baseball, visit TroyTrojans.com or follow the team on Twitter at @TroyTrojansBSB.