Delta College dismisses Dan Smith, the only baseball coach in its varsity history

UNIVERSITY CENTER, MI – The only head coach in Delta College’s history as a varsity baseball program has been let go.

Dan Smith confirmed that his employment as coach was terminated by the community college Wednesday, but was advised by his lawyer to not comment further. Delta College athletic director Dionne McCollum also said she could not make a statement regarding the situation.

Karl Rishe, vice president of student and educational experiences at the college, issued the following statement:

“Coach Smith’s affiliation with Delta College has ended. We thank him for his development of Delta’s program and players these past 10 years. Delta College will begin the search process for a new baseball coach. Of course, all athletic seasons and practices are contingent upon the health and safety guidelines of local health officials. We understand coaching changes and COVID-19 are making this a stressful time for our athletes. As always, Delta is committed to supporting them with their academic and athletic pursuits.”

Some Delta players took to social media to show their support for the departing coach.

Delta College

Smith took the helm of the fledgling Delta program in 2011, the last of three seasons the program spent under club-sport designation. It earned varsity status in 2012 and immediately became a team to contend with on the Michigan Community College Athletic Association scene and in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournaments.

Smith led the Pioneers to a 239-177-3 record during his nine varsity seasons. Delta qualified for the NJCAA regionals in all but two of those campaigns.

In 2017, Delta captured its first regional championship and advanced to the NJCAA Division III World Series.

Smith said assistant coach Jeff Smith was also dismissed by Delta. The Pioneers recently contested their Green and White intrasquad World Series and were preparing for the 2021 season after their 2020 campaign was halted due to the coronavirus threat. Delta posted a 7-5 record in the abbreviated campaign.

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