WAYNE SMITH RECOGNIZED AT ABCA CONFERENCE

1/10/2007

SUNY Orange Athletic Director Hailed as Regional “Coach of the Year” during Baseball Coaches’ Winter Convention

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – After rallying his team from an 0-10 start to conference and regional titles this past spring, SUNY Orange baseball coach and athletic director Wayne Smith was named Region 15 “Coach of the Year” by the American Baseball Coaches Association. Last Friday (Jan. 5), Smith was formally recognized by his peers as the ABCA hailed its entire list of award winners during the organization’s Hall of Fame/Coach of the Year Banquet in Orlando, Fla.

The Colts carved a 22-24 overall record last spring, but really found their stride in league play after opening the year with 10 successive non-conference losses during a pair of southern trips. In Mid Hudson Conference action, SUNY Orange forged a sparkling 15-5 record, capturing the conference title and earning the top seed in the Region 15 Tournament. The Colts dispatched Ulster County Community College 9-6 in the regional finale to earn a trip to the NJCAA Division II East Coast District Tournament.

“We played a tough early schedule, but I think that really prepared our team for conference play,” Smith said recently as he recounted this past season. “And once we got a few wins under our belt, our confidence grew and we played at a pretty high level the rest of the season.”

In Region 15, the coach of the regional tournament-winning team earns “Coach of the Year” plaudits, and the ABCA follows by similarly honoring that same mentor with the coaching association’s award.

“It is a nice honor,” Smith added, “but the praise really should go to the players and our entire coaching staff for all of the hard work, time and dedication they’ve committed to our program. Without all of their efforts, I’m not in position to receive such an award, and our program would not be in position to receive the attention that it has.”

The Colts will open their 2007 spring campaign at Middlesex Community College on March 10.

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Mike Albright
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