Style of Play:
"I want my players to leave the basketball court *completely* exhausted. Sweating, dragging off the floor once the game is over. That will tell them and me that they have put everything in them on the court." - Smith
"When the game is going on, I get into ‘player mode,' and I'm very excited and energetic. I'm on one end of the bench, I'm on the other end of the bench, I'm in the middle, I'm in a defensive stance. I'm all over the place. - Smith
Words to Live By:
"No shortcuts. You can't be successful by taking shortcuts. You have to do everything the right way, and we committed to it. I'm all about buy-in and accountability. That's number-one for me." - Smith
Audra Smith is in her third season as the Head Coach of the Women's Basketball program, after being named to the post on April 8, 2013. Smith, a 1992 Virginia graduate, spent the previous nine seasons at the helm of the UAB program. Her impact was felt immediately, as the Tigers were able to compete with some of the top programs nationally.
The program went 13-19 in her first season, and the 13 wins were the most by the team since 2009-10. She also led the team to win a game in the ACC Tournament for the first time since 2009. Offensively, the team shot .413 , the highest since 2006-07, and had the fewest turnovers since 2003-04. The team recorded a win over NCAA Tournament participant Georgia Tech in Atlanta, as well as three wins over WNIT Participants (Miami, Creighton, USF).
In her second season, the Tigers won the first nine home games of the season, including a thrilling overtime victory over Virginia Tech to open ACC play. Clemson was one of the youngest teams in the nation in 2013-14, with nine freshmen on the roster. The Tigers finished the season with a 9-21 record, playing one of the toughest schedules in the country.
At her prior stop, UAB was 57-39 over her last three seasons, and had a winning record in conference play in each of the past four. The 57 wins over the last three seasons were the most in any three-year period at UAB in 17 years. In nine seasons as the head coach at UAB, Smith compiled a 138-138 record. She took over a program that had accumulated a 29-54 record in the three seasons prior to her arrival, and brought the program up to .500 in year two and to the postseason in year three.
Known for tenacious defense, Smith's teams have finished in the top-50 nationally in scoring defense each of the past three seasons. In 2011-12, her squad ranked third in the nation at 49.1 points allowed per game. The past three seasons rank as the three best in school history in terms of scoring defense.
In 2012-13, the team ranked in the top-50 nationally in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense, three-point field goal percentage defense, steals per game, and turnovers forced per game. They allowed fewer than 60 points in 22 of 31 games this season.
Her UAB program finished with a winning record in each of the last four seasons, including a Women's Basketball Invitational tournament title in 2010-11, a 19-11 record in 2011-12, and a 18-13 mark and WNIT bid in 2012-13.
Under Smith, the team and players established 25 school records, three players earned Conference-USA Player-of-the-Year honors, and her players garnered 12 All-Conference USA selections.
Academically, UAB has had 25 selections for conference academic honors in the past three seasons alone, and 39 overall.
Smith, the sixth head coach in Clemson history, has experience in the ACC, working as an assistant coach under Hall of Famer Debbie Ryan at Virginia. As an assistant from 1994-2004, the team reached the NCAA Tournament in nine of her ten seasons. She was named the recruiting coordinator at UVa in 2000, and helped secure four top-20 classes nationally in five seasons. She has shown the ability to recruit nationally, as her 2012-13 roster featured players from eight different states.
During Smith's career as a student-athlete, Virginia was 113-18 in four seasons, made three trips to the Final Four and won two ACC Championships. One of her teammates at UVa was current South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley.
After graduating from Virginia with a degree in sociology, she worked in her hometown of Milledgeville, GA, before joining Ryan's staff in 1994. Smith played her high school basketball at Baldwin High in Milledgeville, where she was named Miss Georgia Basketball in 1988.
Smith, 44, is married to former Virginia basketball player Anthony Oliver, who played for the Cavaliers from 1988-92. The couple has a son, A.J., and a daughter, Adria.