John Smith is in his first season the top assistant for head coach Jeremy Gunn. He came to Stanford in January, 2012.
"I am thrilled to announce the appointment of John Smith as assistant coach to the men's program," said Gunn. "He has a wealth of experience both as a player and as a coach, and will make an immediate impact in the program with his personality and drive. He is exceptional working with individuals, and will help guide our student-athletes as they develop throughout their collegiate experience. Coach Smith will join Mike Graczyk who continues in his role as assistant coach and goalkeeper coach".
Smith comes to Stanford from Incarnate Word where he spent the last six seasons as the head coach of the Division II soccer powerhouse. Smith compiled a 62-26-10 record, winning three straight Heartland Conference Championships, and three straight Coach of the Year awards. Within his time at the helm of the Incarnate Word program, his team produced four All-Americans, five academic All-Americans, and three future professional soccer players.
"I am very excited to have been afforded the opportunity to join such a fantastic program here at Stanford University," Smith said. "It is an honor for me to be able to coach at such an institution which has truly become the benchmark for both academic and athletic excellence at the collegiate level. I look forward to working with Coach Gunn, Coach Graczyk, and all the players, where I can hopefully contribute to the success of the program for the upcoming season and into the future."
Smith began his coaching career as the assistant soccer coach at California State University, Bakersfield. Within his six years at the program, the Roadrunners made two post-season appearances, won one CCAA title, and produced four All-Americans and six future professional soccer players.
Smith was also a standout as a player, beginning his playing career in England, where he spent three years involved with Wigan Athletic Football Club. During those three years, he was involved in the youth team, reserves, and the first team. Smith made his first appearance for the squad with Wigan's first team as a 16 year old. He later moved to Oldham Athletic Football Club, who were then in England's top division. During the year he spent at Oldham FC, the squad reached the semi finals of both the FA Cup, and the League Cup, ultimately losing out to Manchester United and Nottingham Forest in both competitions.
Statistically speaking, Smith's most successful portion of his playing career came in the United States with Rollins College. While at Rollins, he tabbed a record of 50 goals and 50 assists, breaking a twenty-six year old record in points, and was a two-time All-American, and a GTE Academic All-American. He was awarded the Sunshine State Scholar Athlete of the year award in 1996, and was inducted into the conference hall of fame in 2004.
Following Smith's successful collegiate tenure, he continued his playing career initially with the Columbus Crew of the MLS, where he holds the distinction of being the first foreign player ever drafted into the MLS. Smith was the 13th overall pick with the Crew in 1997. The following two years, he represented the Nashville Metros, Rochester Rhino's and the Hershey Wildcats within the A-League. In Nashville, he became the team leader in points, and his efforts were rewarded with a Central division title, and a place on the All-A-League second team.
Smith is a native of Manchester, England, and earned his bachelor's degree in history from Rollins College, and his Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from California State University, Bakersfield. Smith lives with his wife Julie, and two sons Isaac and Jacob.