Lamont Smith enters his first season with the University of New Mexico, and the west coast veteran and defensive whiz will serve as Associate Head Coach for Craig Neal. Smith bring with him plenty of west coast and regional recruiting ties, plus a reputation for developing student-athletes and being one of the hot up-and-coming coaches in the collegiate ranks.
Smith spent last season with the University of Washington under Lorenzo Romar, where the Huskies went 18-16 overall and 9-9 in league play, advancing to the NIT, where Washington lost at BYU. Last season was the second time that Smith had coached with Romar, as he got his start in coaching as a graduate assistant at Saint Louis from 1999-2001 when Romar was the coach of the Billikens.
Smith, a native of The Colony, Texas, was a graduate assistant coach at Saint Louis. Smith's duties with the Billikens included coordinating the team's video editing and film exchange, while assisting with team recruiting, scouting and strength and conditioning programs.
Washington was Smith's second Pac-12 stop after spending four seasons (2008-12) at Arizona State. While at Arizona State, the Sun Devils had a pair of 20-win seasons with Smith on the bench and advanced to the NCAA Second Round in 2009. Smith also played a vital role in developing 2009 Pac-10 Player of the Year James Harden.
Prior to joining Herb Sendek's staff at Arizona State, Smith was at Santa Clara from 2007-08 as Kerry Keating's top assistant. He helped recruit one of the top classes in the West Coast Conference during his time with the Broncos. Smith spent 2001-2007 as an assistant on the staff of Randy Bennett at Saint Mary's before joining Santa Clara. Bennett and Smith knew each other from their time on Romar's Saint Louis staff.
Saint Mary's was 2-27 the year before Bennett and Smith arrived, and the Gaels won nine games the first year, 15 the second, 19 in the third and a then-school record 25 in 2004-05. The 2004-05 team made the NCAA Tournament for just the third time in the history of the program while the 2003-04 team set a school record by scoring 2,377 points. In the first four seasons he was at SMC, the Gaels led the WCC in scoring defense.
Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of San Diego in 1998 and was a member of the men's basketball team from 1994-99. He was named the Toreros' Defensive Player of the Year in 1997 and 1999 and served as the team captain from 1997-99. His brother Jacori Greer is a senior defensive end at New Mexico under Bob Davie.