SEWARD, Neb. – On Thursday the Concordia University women’s basketball program announced the promotion of Debi Smith from graduate assistant to full-time assistant coach. Smith, who is in her second season on head coach Drew Olson’s staff, will also serve roles as weight room supervisor and in baseball game management. She fills the assistant women’s basketball role vacated by Amy Harms, who announced her resignation in late May for family reasons.
“It’s an honor to be promoted to full-time assistant for a program with such great tradition and a university that gave me an opportunity to be around the game I love,” Smith said. “I’ve already learned a lot from Coach Olson and I look forward to helping maintain the high level of play and Christian values that this basketball program has become known for nationally.”
Now in his ninth season as head coach, Olson will have someone other than Harms as his top assistant for the first time during his tenure.
“I am excited to have Debi take on a different and bigger role in our program,” Olson said. “I know she has a great understanding of the game and will give our players more knowledge from her successful experiences.”
Last season Smith replaced Thad Sankey as graduate assistant. The Bulldogs finished the 2013-14 campaign at 25-8 overall, shared the GPAC regular-season title and advanced to the national tournament for the third-straight year and for the sixth time in the past seven seasons.
Smith (maiden name Johnson) enjoyed an impressive career on the hardwood at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, where she amassed 1,432 career points between 2008 and 2012. That total ranks 10th all-time in Loper history. Her 195 career 3-point field goals places her third all-time and her 78.2 career free throw percentage ranks fourth in school history.
The Elsie, Neb., native earned numerous accolades during her playing career, including all-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) honors in each of her four seasons and 2009 RMAC Freshman of the Year billing. In addition, she was a Capital One Academic All-District selection.
The Loper star graduated from Nebraska-Kearney with a degree in exercise science while minoring in health science. She continues to pursue her master’s in business administration/health care administration at Concordia.
Debi is married to Brandon Smith.