Lourdes College made its first coaching hire in school history this week.
Andre Smith was hired as men's basketball coach.
Smith, formerly an assistant coach at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa., was one of more than 250 applicants.
Smith, 36, is already on the recruiting trail to find athletes to fill the roster for the first team in school history. The Sylvania-based college is preparing to debut men's basketball and women's volleyball beginning in the fall of 2010.
"I think it's very exciting, not only for the college, but for the community," Smith said yesterday by telephone.
Smith, who officially begins Aug. 1, is at the "Best of the Midwest" summer basketball tournament in Indianapolis scouting potential talent.
"There are lots of selling points for the program," he said. "The main thing is getting the name out there."
Lourdes College has decided to add sports after about 50 years of existence as a part of the school's initiative to transition from college to university status by 2015.
Roseanne Gill-Jacobson, who serves as Lourdes vice president for student services and is involved in overseeing the development of the athletic department, said Smith fit the description they were looking for in a coach.
"We are very excited to have Andre Smith, he brings a wealth of experience," Gill-Jacobson said.
Smith and Gill-Jacobson worked together at Thiel College. His duties also will require being involved in Upward Bound, which is a college preparatory program that works with students at Waite and Woodward high schools.
Smith served as an admissions counselor and as director of multicultural affairs at Thiel College.
He played basketball at Lakeland (Ill.) Community College (Ill.) before moving on to Youngstown State where he played and then spent some time as an assistant coach.
Smith said Lourdes offeres him a great opportunity.
"It's a great place," he said. "The people are wonderful and the quality of education it offers.
"You can also come in as the first head coach and have things your way. You can come in and build your own program."
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