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Published: Tuesday, 5/12/2009

Smith enthused about UT, MAC

Smith Smith

New University of Toledo volleyball coach Greg Smith has coached in six conferences. He thinks the Mid-American Conference is one of the most up-and-coming leagues in the country, with three teams in the 2008 NCAA tournament.

"The MAC has developed into one of the top conferences for volleyball," Smith said. "You can sense it's going to be there as an established volleyball conference. It's going to get more than just one team in the NCAA tournament, and that's important."

Smith was introduced yesterday at Savage Arena. He replaces Kent Miller, who left in February after 12 seasons for an assistant coaching job at Illinois.

Smith, 44, spent the last three years as an assistant at Notre Dame and also was the head coach at Virginia Tech for six years.

He is a native of Rochester, Ind., and coached at Ohio State from 1997-99.

"I believe Greg's experience in all aspects of volleyball, including serving as the recruiting coordinator for a very competitive Notre Dame program, will propel UT volleyball to a bright and exciting future," UT athletic director Mike O'Brien said.

Smith becomes the fifth coach in the Rockets' 29-year volleyball history.

UT has had just seven winning seasons in that time, so Smith is charged with changing the culture.

"There are aspects that are in place right now, with the commitment of the athletic department to volleyball," Smith said.

"There are so many aspects of the university you can recruit to and the city itself. I think it can change."

- Maureen Fulton

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