Alex Smith heads into his third season as head coach of the Saint Michael's men's lacrosse team in the spring of 2020. Smith is also the Intramural co-director at the College.
The Purple Knights, who began the year receiving a national vote from the United State Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA), carried 17 first-years in 2019 while finishing fifth in the nation in caused turnovers per game (11.4) - buoyed by Division II leader Will Moriarty '20 (3.0) - and near the top third in scoring defense (10.6). Saint Michael's forged a 3-1 mark to begin the campaign, which included a 9-5 victory at Palm Beach Atlantic (Fla.) University, which was receiving national votes. A challenging schedule saw each of the Purple and Gold's first three losses come by five goals or fewer against nationally-ranked squads, as six losses were by five or less. Five of the Purple Knights' 11 Northeast-10 Conference foes were ranked heading into their contests, and two others were receiving votes.
After Smith was hired in September 2017, the Purple Knights doubled their win total during the spring while tying for seventh in NCAA Division II in man-down defense (80.0%). Saint Michael's posted its fewest turnovers in a decade, its lowest goals-against average (9.57) in five seasons, and the fourth-most caused turnovers (133) in program annals. The Purple and Gold reeled off three straight wins in mid-March, yielding only 13 goals in that stretch, when the Purple Knights posted three straight shutout periods for the first time since April 6, 2006. Their shutout streak reached 56:55 at one point, their longest since the 2004 season. The Purple and Gold downed Georgian Court (N.J.) University, 9-6, on March 15 for Smith's 100th collegiate coaching victory. During its home finale, Saint Michael's lost to the top-ranked team in the nation, Le Moyne College, by a slim 10-8 margin.
The Colorado State alum jumped into coaching right out of college. While serving as the head assistant coach at the Fort Collins, Colo.-based school between August 2003 and June 2009, Smith and the Rams claimed a national title in 2006. The interim head coach for much of the 2009 season, Smith was named head coach later that year and led his alma mater to national crowns in 2012 and 2013 - a 21-0 season - while posting a 98-23 mark over six-plus springs. Colorado State claimed Rocky Mountain Lacrosse Conference (RMLC) titles each season between 2010 and 2013. Smith was named MCLA National Coach of the Year and RMLC Coach of the Year in both 2010 and 2013.
After leaving the program in fall 2015, Smith continued to operate the Rams Lacrosse Club, which he founded in 2010. With the Rams Lacrosse Club, Smith created programming and infrastructure, and coached his players in five tournaments each year. Smith guided the Rocky Mountain High School varsity boys' squad to an 8-8 mark in 2017 during his lone season with the school.
During his time as head coach at Colorado State, Smith was responsible not only for practice, game planning and recruiting, but also compliance, travel, purchasing, scheduling and media relations for his program. He also oversaw not only a coaching staff, but the Rams' alumni association and parent booster club, and coached 35 MCLA All-America selections during his career. Beginning in 2006, Smith directed a camp out of Colorado State for more than 100 youth players for 10 straight summers.
In addition to his college coaching duties, Smith was an assistant for the Denver Outlaws of Major League Lacrosse (MLL) in 2010 and 2011 after playing four years for the Outlaws, recording a .571 save percentage in 12 contests. While on the coaching staff, he coordinated the offense and man-up units, compiled scouting reports, aided in the game and travel planning, and assisted in public appearances by players.
As an undergraduate, Smith was part of three national champion squads at Colorado State, in 1999, 2001 and 2003. During his senior year, he was the starting goalie on the MCLA title winner, being named All-America, all-conference, all-tournament and team MVP while serving as captain and student president. As a junior, he helped the Rams finish second nationally, with Smith being named defensive MVP of the team and all-tournament.
Smith earned his bachelor's degree in 2003 in English, with a concentration in creative writing, before completing his master's degree in sports coaching and administration at the University of Northern Colorado in 2013. Beyond the field and classroom, Smith was a member of the MCLA All-America Committee in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and was the general manager of Colorado-based lacrosse stick company Rock-it Pocket from 2006 to 2011.