Centralia College Hall of Famer Eddie Smith named UW baseball coach


In the spring of 2017, Centralia College alum Eddie Smith finished his final season as the head coach at Lower Columbia College.

Just seven seasons later, Smith is making the jump to the Division I Power Four, as he was announced as the new University of Washington baseball head coach on Tuesday.

“Coach Eddie Smith is the ideal fit for Washington baseball,” UW Director of Athletics Pat Chun said in a university press release. “Coach Smith is a leader, an exceptional coach and a proven winner. His roots are firmly entrenched in the state of Washington and he has a full understanding of the history and tradition of the UW. We are excited to welcome Eddie, Jennifer and Cynthia to the Husky Family.”

After a successful high school career at North Thurston in Lacey, which included a 3A State Championship, Smith began his collegiate career playing for Bruce Pocklington at Centralia College.

At CC, Smith was an All-Region infielder, and he was a part of the 2004 team that set a school record for wins. He earned the Sportsman of the Year Award that year, and in 2012, he was inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame.

After Centralia, Smith played two years at Notre Dame, then he fully dove into coaching.

He began as an assistant in Virginia, and in five years as an assistant there, the Cavaliers advanced to the College World Series twice. After spending time in Santa Clara and Notre Dame as an assistant, he earned his first head coaching job in Longview in 2014.

In four seasons at LCC, the Red Devils went 146-49, won the NWAC West Region three times, and won the NWAC twice.

He made the leap back to Division I in 2018, and after two years at both Tulane and LSU, he’s spent the last three seasons as Utah Valley’s head coach, where he helped the Wolverines improve from a 10-47 mark in 2021 to a 34-24 mark and conference title game appearance just two years later.

This past season, UVU went 29-29, but set a new program record for conference wins by going 18-12 in WAC play.

“I could not be more excited to be the head baseball coach at the University of Washington,” Smith said in the university’s press release. “I want to thank Pat Chun and (UW baseball sport administrator) Jordan Betts for their trust and belief in me to lead these young men.

“This program offers everything a player could want or need for their development and the opportunity to win championships. It will be an exciting time to build Husky baseball as we enter the Big Ten and our program will work with a relentless pursuit toward winning championships. Go Dawgs!”