Saint Michael’s College Director of Athletics Chris Kenny ’86 announced the hire of Alex Smith as the new head coach of the men’s lacrosse program on Friday, effective Oct. 2. Smith, who will also join the College as the Intramural co-director, led his Colorado State University team to a pair of Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) national championships after coaching and playing professionally.
“I’d like to thank Chris Kenny and the rest of the hiring committee for the opportunity to join the Saint Michael’s community,” said Smith. “Mr. Kenny and everyone else I met during the interview process made me feel at home immediately, and I knew that this was the right landing spot for my family and me. Being a part of a great institutional culture is one of the things I look forward to the most about this position.”
The Colorado State alum jumped into coaching right out of college. While serving as the head assistant coach at the Fort Collins, Colo.-based school between August 2003 and June 2009, Smith and the Rams claimed a national title in 2006. The interim head coach for much of the 2009 season, Smith was named head coach later that year and led his alma mater to national crowns in 2012 and 2013 – a 21-0 season – while posting a 98-23 mark over six-plus springs. Colorado State claimed Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference (RMLC) titles each season between 2010 and 2013. Smith was named MCLA National Coach of the Year and RMLC Coach of the Year in both 2010 and 2013.
“Alex has a very impressive professional skill set and valuable collection of experiences, and a great perspective on student-athlete development, on and off the field,” said Kenny. “We are very fortunate to have him leading our men’s lacrosse program, and look forward to welcoming him and his family to the Saint Michael’s community.”
Since leaving the Colorado State program in fall 2015, Smith has continued to operate the Rams Lacrosse Club, which he founded in 2010. With the Rams Lacrosse Club, Smith created programming and infrastructure, and coached his players in five tournaments each year. Smith guided the Rocky Mountain High School varsity boys’ squad to an 8-8 mark in 2017 during his lone season with the school.
During his time as head coach at Colorado State, Smith was responsible not only for practice, game planning and recruiting, but also compliance, travel, purchasing, scheduling and media relations for his program. He also oversaw not only a coaching staff, but the Rams’ alumni association and parent booster club, and coached 35 MCLA All-America selections during his career. Beginning in 2006, Smith directed a camp out of Colorado State for more than 100 youth players for 10 straight summers.
“I’m confident that we are going to make strides this year to become competitive in the Northeast-10 Conference right away,” said Smith. “My vision for this program is to reestablish Saint Mike’s as a national contender that plays a tough, smart brand of lacrosse with an opportunity to win every game we play,” said Smith. “In order to do so, we’re going to need to be very focused on our own locker room and on building a competitive, collaborative culture that challenges each one of us to become the best possible versions of ourselves. I’ve been around winning programs, and I know what it looks like when everyone is bought into the same goal and working toward the same vision. We will always set high expectations on the players and coaching staff to make Saint Michael’s College proud both on and off the field.”
In addition to his college coaching duties, Smith was an assistant for the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) in 2010 and 2011 after playing four years for the Outlaws, recording a .571 save percentage in 12 contests. While on the coaching staff, he coordinated the offense and man-up units, compiled scouting reports, aided in the game and travel planning, and assisted in public appearances by players.
As an undergraduate, Smith was part of three national champion squads at Colorado State, in 1999, 2001 and 2003. During his senior year, he was the starting goalie on the MCLA title winner, being named All-America, all-conference, all-tournament and team MVP while serving as captain and student president. As a junior, he helped the Rams finish second nationally, with Smith being named defensive MVP of the team and all-tournament.
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in 2003 in English, with a concentration in creative writing, before completing his master’s degree in sports coaching and administration at the University of Northern Colorado in 2013. Beyond the field and classroom, Smith was a member of the MCLA All-America Committee in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was the general manager of Colorado-based lacrosse stick company Rock-it Pocket from 2006 to 2011.