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Dons hire Columbia’s Smith

Kyle Smith

Columbia coach Kyle Smith gives instructions during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Michigan State, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, in East Lansing, Mich. Michigan State won 62-53. (AP Photo/Al Goldis)


Kyle Smith, formerly of Columbia, was named as the newest coach at San Francisco, the university announced Wednesday.

Smith spent six years guiding Columbia, going 101-82 overall with a 25-10 mark and a CIT championship this past season.

“I am extremely honored and thrilled at the opportunity to lead the USF basketball program and be associated with a great university in the most beautiful city in the world,” said Smith in a statement released by the school. “We will work tirelessly to develop leaders on the court, in the classroom and the community who will compete for a West Coast Conference championship and add to the legacy of this great program.”

Smith’s Lions teams were known for their measured pace and strong shooting in recent years with an emphasis on getting up a lot of 3-point attempts.

He inherits a group that was unable to break .500 the past two seasons under Rex Walters after what looked to perhaps be a breakthrough season in 2013-14. The Dons return the bulk of their team that went 15-15 and finished fifth in the WCC last year.