Katie Smith – Head Coach – 2nd Season – Ohio State ’96
- Played 15 seasons in the WNBA, retiring in 2013 after playing one year with the New York Liberty
- Retired as the all-time scoring leader in women’s professional basketball history with 7,885-career points and ranked second in WNBA history with 6,452 points
- Two-time WNBA Champion (2006, 2008) winning twice with the Detroit Shock
- Voted as one of the top-15 players in WNBA history
- Voted as one of the top-20 best and most influential players in WNBA history in 2016
- Seven-time WNBA All-Star
- Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist (2000, 2004, 2008)
In 2019, Katie Smith enters her sixth season as a member of the New York Liberty coaching staff and her second as the team’s head coach. Smith was elevated to the top position on the bench in October 2017, becoming the seventh head coach in franchise history. Smith originally joined the Liberty staff in 2014 and spent two seasons as an assistant to head coach Bill Laimbeer before assuming the role of associate head coach for the 2016-17 campaigns. In her four seasons working alongside Laimbeer, the Liberty posted an overall regular-season record of 81-55 (.596), including three straight 20-win seasons that earned three consecutive playoff berths from 2015 through 2017.
One of the greatest players in WNBA history, Smith played 15 seasons in the league and, coupled with her two seasons in the ABL, retired as the all-time scoring leader in women’s professional basketball history with 7,885-career points. At the time of her retirement, she ranked second in WNBA history with 6,452 career points and first in both three-point field goals made (906) and attempted (2,466), fourth in free throws made (1,440), and 10th in all-time assists (1,258). Smith was a two-time WNBA champion (2006, 2008) playing for Laimbeer, then the Shock head coach. She also voted as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history in 2011 (the league’s 15th season) and as one of the Top 20 best and most influential players in WNBA history in 2016, the league’s 20th campaign.
Her resume also includes seven selections to the WNBA All-Star Game and three Olympic gold medals as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team (2000, 2004, 2008), Smith began her pro career in the ABL as a member of the Columbus Quest, playing for head coach Brian Agler and winning that league’s only two championships. She then signed with the WNBA in 1999, joining the expansion Minnesota Lynx along with Agler, who served as that team’s first head coach. Eight years later in 2006, and by then a member of the Detroit Shock playing for Laimbeer, Smith won her first WNBA championship. In that same 2006 season, Smith – playing in her sixth WNBA All-Star Game – became the first player to notch All-Star wins as a member of both the Eastern and Western Conference teams. Following the 2009 season, her last with the Shock, Smith went on to play for the WNBA’s Washington Mystics (2010) and Seattle Storm (2011-12). Then, in her final season as a player, she joined the Liberty, reuniting with Laimbeer, then the New York head coach. One year later she would join Laimbeer’s and embark upon her coaching career in the professional ranks.
Smith’s success also extended to the international level where, in addition to winning three Olympic gold medals, she helped the U.S. Women’s National Team win gold at the FIBA World Championships in 1998 and 2002. Smith has a deep connection with Ohio State University. As a student-athlete, the Logan, Ohio native helped the Buckeyes to the NCAA championship game as a freshman and went on to break the Big Ten scoring record for points scored in a career in men’s or women’s basketball. On Jan. 21, 2001, The Ohio State University honored her as the first female Buckeye athlete to have her number retired. Smith spent several WNBA off-seasons on the Buckeyes’ women’s basketball staff.