Updated Mon, Jun 11, 2012 3:46 pm
Eighteen days after longtime skipper Joe Carbone coached his final game for Ohio baseball, the Bobcats have hired their new head coach for the 2013 season. Rob Smith takes over the position, filling its first vacancy in 24 years, after six seasons serving as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator at Creighton University.
In his six seasons at Creighton, Smith helped guide the Blue Jays to a 213-133 record and three Missouri Valley Conference titles. Creighton has won back-to-back conference championships and captured two NCAA Tournament victories over San Diego and New Mexico in the 2012 season.
Smith is somewhat of a pitching specialist. At Creighton, he led a pitching staff that has consistently ranked near the top of the Missouri Valley Conference. During his first five years, Creighton had an average team earned run average of 3.97, ranking 20th in Division 1 over that time period. Before his stint with Creighton, Smith served as a pitching coach at Purdue University, where the Boilermakers’ team ERA dropped 1.7 runs per game over the course of his five seasons. In 2005, Purdue posted a 3.29 league ERA, more than one run lower than any other Big Ten team.
During Smith’s first five seasons at Creighton, he coached five All-Americans, two Freshman All-Americans, one MVC Player of the Year, and two MVC Newcomers of the Year. In his 11 seasons as a pitching coach, Smith has had 12 players drafted or offered professional contracts.
Smith will look to improve an already effective pitching staff at Ohio. In 2012, the Bobcats ranked second in the Mid American Conference with a 3.73 ERA. The Bobcats return none of their regular starting pitchers, however, as they lose Brent Choban and Jason Moulton to graduation and Seth Streich to the majors.
In 2012, Ohio finished 28-29 and fourth in the MAC with a 16-11 conference record before a disappointing early exit from the MAC Tournament. Smith becomes the ninth head coach in Ohio baseball history.