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San Diego Coach Resigns for Domestic Violence Investigation

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Copyright 2018 The Salt Lake Tribune
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The Salt Lake Tribune

 

San Diego — University of San Diego coach Lamont Smith resigned Wednesday night, 10 days after he was arrested for investigation of domestic violence at the end of a road trip.

Smith's resignation came one day after the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said he wouldn't face charges "at this time" in a domestic violence investigation.

Even though no charges were filed, the university said on Tuesday that Smith remained on administrative leave pending a school investigation.

Athletic director Bill McGillis said Smith, who played at USD and was in his third season as coach, offered his resignation Wednesday night and the school accepted it. McGillis said he then notified the team.

"I'm saddened for Lamont," McGillis said. "Lamont loves the University of San Diego. He went here. He's one of ours, and so I'm saddened for him, but I am simply looking forward now at my responsibility to identify the right leadership going forward. He resigned and we're going to go hire a great coach. He did a lot of very good things here. Lamont clearly, in three years, elevated our program and brought great kids here, brought very good athletes here, guys that are winners. We've gone from nine wins to 13 wins to 18 wins, so he did a lot of very good things and I'm grateful for that."

As the Toreros prepared to fly home from the Oakland airport on Feb. 25, Smith was arrested for investigation of domestic violence, assault with force, likely to commit great bodily injury and false imprisonment. The allegations stemmed from a disturbance at the team hotel hours after the Toreros beat San Francisco in the regular-season finale.

Smith released a statement Thursday saying he stepped down because "I felt it was important to take steps to insure that USD and the team be able to move forward without any distractions. ... I came back to USD to elevate the men's basketball program both on and off the court and with the help of my coaching staff and these outstanding student-athletes, there is no question that has taken place."

Smith has not responded to requests for comment about what happened the night of his arrest.

Assistant coach Sam Scholl coached the Toreros (18-13) in their loss to BYU in the opening round of the West Coast Conference tournament on Saturday.

Scholl will be a candidate to replace Smith, McGillis said.

The Toreros will return 16 of 17 players next season.

McGillis said he's looking for a coach "who can come in here and take this now-seasoned group and push it forward to that championship level next year. I can tell you from talking to our team tonight, they believe they can be champions."

The AD said the last 10 days have "been difficult for a lot of people and now it's time to move forward."

Smith was hired in 2015 to replace the fired Bill Grier.

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March 9, 2018
 
 
 

 

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