Beginning Monday, Feb. 21, Women’s head basketball coach Becky Martin will assume the role as interim athletic director (AD), and McDaniel’s current AD Jamie Smith will be stepping down. After 12 rewarding years as McDaniel’s athletic director, Jamie Smith realized “that it was time to move on with [his] professional career.”
Since McDaniel’s hiring of Jamie Smith in the fall of ‘99, the college has seen extreme highs and lows in the athletic department. Smith recalled one of the toughest moments in his professional career was the passing of Men’s Basketball coach Bob Flynn in 2007. Still, Smith finds great satisfaction every season in “seeing sports teams and individuals achieve.”
Just this past January, Smith and President Casey began discussing the current status of the athletic department and steps the College needs to take to improve and expand athletically. It was in these meetings that Smith and Casey came to the conclusion that it would be a good time for change in the athletic director position.
“This is a learning situation for President Casey and I’ve been here for a while; more than anything else it’s just a timing thing,” Smith said.
He continued, “it’s good for both me individually and the organization [McDaniel College] to look at a new approach athletically.”
Dean Gerl, who will co-chair the search for a new permanent AD, outlined her ideal candidate.
“We will be looking for someone with incredible experience in sports and leadership that will be able to assess where we are as an athletic department and what we can do better,” she said.
Although Jamie Smith will not have any direct input in the nationwide search for a new AD, he intends to provide any help in the process where he is needed.
Women’s basketball coach Becky Martin was initially shocked when Casey asked her to replace Smith as the interim AD.
“I was caught off-guard in the meeting with Casey,” said Martin. “There were mixed emotions— shocked and saddened.”
When Martin assumes the role as AD on Feb. 21, she expects “business as usual,” and when asked what she would do if offered the full-time position as Athletic Director of McDaniel College, Martin responded, “I don’t know what the future will hold, it’s a big decision that I would have to think long and hard about.”
Upon stepping down as AD, Smith will now focus on development and athletic fundraising for the remainder of the year.
Smith has had a happy and productive career here at McDaniel, but is unsure if he will be returning to the College next semester.
“I will be looking at other professional opportunities—for a change in environment, be it athletics or something else,” said Smith.