The Rogers State Athletic Department and Athletic Director Chris Ratcliff have announced the hiring of Josh Smith as the Head Coach of the Hillcat Women’s Soccer program.
“I am thrilled to be able to welcome Josh to the Hillcat family,” Ratcliff said. “He is a quality coach and person and will take the RSU women’s soccer program to the next level. I am excited for our current and future women’s soccer student-athletes and the opportunities they will have to be coached and mentored by Josh.”
Smith becomes the fifth head coach for the Rogers State Women’s Soccer program and comes to College Hill from Eastern New Mexico University where he was the head coach of two of the most successful seasons in Greyhounds Women’s Soccer history.
“I am very excited and humbled to be the next women’s soccer coach at RSU,” said Smith. “I would like to thank Chris Ratcliff, Sara Braun, and the staff at RSU for welcoming me to campus and providing me with this opportunity.”
“RSU is a special place and I can’t wait to get started,” added Smith. “I look forward to building on the foundation that has been laid and continuing to move the program in a positive direction. My family and I are excited to join the Hillcat family.”
Smith took over the Eastern New Mexico program ahead of the 2018 season and turned around the program in his first season, leading the Greyhounds to an upset of #19 West Texas A&M en route to a trip to the Lone Star Conference championship game.
Over his two seasons in Portales, Smith also coached the Greyhounds to the best win percentage of any coach in the program’s 17-year history.
The Greyhounds won their first two Lonestar Conference postseason games in school history under Smith, who coached the program to multiple other school records. Greyhounds student-athletes won the LSC Newcomer of the Year awards in 2018 and 2019, five All-LSC selections, one all-region honor, two academic all-conference honors, one academic all-district selection, and raised the team GPA from 3.09 to 3.39 in two years under the guidance of Smith.
Prior to his arrival in Portales, Smith spent two seasons at the University of the Southwest in Hobbs, New Mexico. Smith amassed a 16-15-2 record in two seasons of leading the Mustangs.
In the fall of 2017, he led the Mustangs to a 13-3 record, which was the second-best record in program history. His squad was 8-3 in conference play which was the best mark in school history. For the season, his team outscored opponents by a score of 54-4 and finished the year just four points shy of a conference championship.
A big part of Smith’s success in 2017 came from his recruiting class, where he signed 34 athletes to rebuild Southwest’s program. The recruiting paid off on the field and off as well. His team finished the year with a cumulative GPA of 3.21.
Prior to the University of the Southwest, Smith was at Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa. Smith went 36-5-2 during his two seasons and won a pair of Region 2 Tournament championships. After an eight-win season prior to his arrival, Smith guided Tonkawa to a 19-3-1 record and a No. 15 ranking in the NJCAA in his first season.
Smith guided the Mavericks to a 17-2-1 record in 2015, a No. 8 ranking in the NJCAA Division II polls and an Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season championship along with the Region 2 Tournament championship. Smith was also named the OCAC/Region 2 Coach of the Year in 2015.
During Smith’s time at NOC-Tonkawa, he had three players named to the NJCAA All-American Team, six players named First Team All-Region 2, seven players named First Team All-OCAC and four players earn NJCAA Player of the Week honors.
Three of the players Smith recruited prior to his first season in Tonkawa (Taylor Sargent, BreAnn Tolleson and Abigail Resendiz) would end up being standouts and major contributors for the Rogers State Women’s Soccer program in 2017 and 2018 after moving on from the junior college.
Smith’s team also showed great improvement in the classroom, as NOC-Tonkawa’s grade point average went from 2.50 the year before Smith arrived to a 3.35 GPA in his last season. His teams were also active in fundraising, helping raise more than $30,000 for the program in less than two years.
Before leading NOC-Tonkawa, Smith was the head girls’ soccer coach at Crandall High School in Texas for two seasons. In his second season he improved the team from 11-10-2 to 17-5-2 and guided the program to a third-place finish in the 4A district. He finished as runner-up district coach of the year both seasons and increased the participation in the program from 15 to 52 girls in two years – making it possible to develop a junior varsity program. He also served as the school’s head cross country coach for both the boys and girls.
During his time at Crandall High, he also was the goalkeeper coach for Cedar Valley College for the 2013 season.
Smith received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, in 2009 and his master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Mississippi in 2011.
Joshua is married to Jenn Smith, and the two have a son, Hunter.