Steve Smith's tenure as the Baylor Bears baseball coach has been a storied one, celebrated by numerous awards as the team has become a national power. Last season's final ranking in the top ten has now earned him another award as he was recently named the Midwest Region Coach of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association. From the press release:
Smith, the 2012 Big 12 Coach of the Year, guided Baylor to a 49-17 record and a Waco Regional championship in his 18th season in Waco. He also led the Bears to their first-ever No. 1 national ranking when they topped the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll on April 23 and April 30.
Baylor finished the season ranked No. 9 or No. 10 in all four major national polls. BU finished ninth in the NCBWA and USATODAY/ESPN Coaches Polls, and the Bears were 10th in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper polls. This season was the third time in the Smith era the Bears finished ranked in the top 10 nationally (No. 8/9 in 1999 and No. 4 in 2005).
Smith was joined by Florida State's Mike Martin (Atlantic), UNC-Wilmington's Mark Scalf (East), Kent State's Scott Stricklin (Mideast), Stony Brook's Matt Senk (Northeast), South Carolina's Ray Tanner (South), Sam Houston State's David Pierce (South Central) and Arizona's Andy Lopez (West).