(MARYVILLE, Mo.) Michael Smith spent three years as a graduate assistant for Northwest Women's Basketball under Wayne Winstead from 1996-1998.
Monday, he made his return to Maryville to take what he called his "dream job."
Smith was introduced as the next head coach of the Bearcats, taking over a 15-13 team that made it to the MIAA Tournament Quarterfinals last season.
He spent the last five years coaching the Truman State Bulldogs, amassing a .500 record in the time. It's the third coach in three years to lead Northwest, but Smith doesn't expect his players to miss a step.
"That's not going to be an excuse for us," he said. "I'm here to teach the game of basketball. A lot of these players, I'm familiar with, because I recruited some of them during my time at Truman."
Smith said the schemes he plans to implement will differ from previous head coach Mark Kellogg. He added he needs to evaluate the roster before possibly adding another player.
"At the end of the day I think they want what's best for their teammates and the university and there's no doubt that's what I want as well."