Hired on Aug. 10, 2009, Oklahoma assistant men's golf coach Blake Smart has been crucial to the Sooners' speedy return to the national spotlight. The 2013-14 season marks Smart's fifth with the program.
In Smart’s time at OU, the Sooners have set the three best single-season averages in school history. In 2012-13, OU recorded a 290.05 scoring average, the program’s best. That performance followed marks of 290.27 in 2010-11 and 290.46 in 2011-12. Also, OU has made appearances in each of the last three NCAA Championships.
In 2012, the Sooners posted a three-round 877 (+25) at the NCAA Championships en route to an 11th-place showing, the program’s best since finishing ninth in 1993. For the season, OU set a school record for number of birdies with 585.
Competing in 13 team events in 2012-13, OU claimed top-10 showings nine times and top-five finishes in six events, including a victory at the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational in February.
Smart helped the Sooners to their third consecutive NCAA Championships appearance in 2013, as the squad finished 11th for the second straight year. OU posted a three-round 845 (+5) at the national tournament in Atlanta, Ga., and finished the season with a No. 24 ranking in the Golfweek/Sagarin poll.
Smart guided KSU to eight top-10 finishes during the 2008-09 season, including a second-place finish at the Samford Intercollegiate and a third-place showing at the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate. Smart coached five different players to Atlantic Sun honors in his three seasons with the Black and Gold, while one of his top recruits, Matt Nagy, qualified for the 2009 U.S. Open and became the first-ever Kennesaw State golfer to participate in a major championship.
"Blake has been a great addition to our staff here at the University of Oklahoma," said OU head coach Ryan Hybl.
"He is a tremendous asset that has brought a lot of experience as a former head coach and provides everything we need to be successful on the level this program is capable of being.
"He is a well-rounded person who is very knowledgeable about the game from both a coach and player perspective," added Hybl. "He is a great complement to what we are focused on doing."
Prior to his time at Kennesaw State, Smart was an assistant coach for two seasons with both the men's and women's programs at his alma mater, Berry College, an NAIA program in Rome, Ga. While on staff at Berry, Smart helped guide the squads to a pair of team titles and coached three individuals to tournament championships.
Competing at Berry from 1999-2004, Smart was an NAIA honorable mention All-American in 2002, as well as a two-time all-conference selection. In addition, he was selected to nine all-tournament teams during his four-year career.
A member of two NAIA Championship runner-up teams (in 2000 and 2002), Smart was also a two-time Academic All-American and a three-time academic all-conference honoree.
The native of Cornelia, Ga., has dual degrees in business management and economics, and also received his M.B.A from Berry in the spring of 2006. He is married to the former Caroline Norris.