Smith named ABCA/Diamond region Coach of the Year

Lander coach Kermit Smith (left) with pitcher/infielder Will Jones after winning the Southeast Region championship against USC Aiken in Columbus, Ga. (File photo by Bob Stoner)
Lander coach Kermit Smith (left) with pitcher/infielder Will Jones after winning the Southeast Region championship against USC Aiken in Columbus, Ga. (File photo by Bob Stoner)

GREENWOOD - Lander University baseball coach Kermit Smith was named the ABCA/Diamond Southeast Region Coach of the Year after leading the Bearcats to the College World Series for the second time in three years.

Smith, who came to Lander in 2010, led the Bearcats to a 44-16 overall record -- they finished 22-26 in 2015 -- and their second NCAA Division II Southeast Region championship in three years. The Bearcats reached the semifinals of the College World Series and finished the season ranked No. 3 nationally by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper.

In addition to five players earning numerous post season honors, a school-record four -- outfielder Zach Daly, starting pitcher Will Jones, first baseman Colby Lusignan, and relief pitcher Brandon White -- were selected in the Major League Baseball Draft. Andrew Reardon later signed a free agency contract.

Smith, who earned the award for the second time at Lander, is the Bearcats' winningest baseball coach with a 244-134 overall record for a .646 winning percentage.