DURHAM, N.C. (AUBURN ATHLETICS) – Auburn pitching coach Steve Smith has been named a pitching coordinator for the USA Baseball 2019 17U National Team Development Program (NTDP).
Smith is one of 10 coaches and evaluators to serve on the NTDP staff, marking his third stint with USA Baseball. He also served as the head coach of the Collegiate National Team in 2005 and its pitching coach in 1998.
Smith recently completed his second season as the volunteer assistant and pitching coach at Auburn, helping lead the Tigers to the program’s fifth College World Series appearance all-time, including its first since 1997.
In two seasons under Smith, Auburn’s pitching staff has turned in two of its three highest strikeout totals and has registered 12 shutouts, including seven this past season. The Tigers 2018 staff finished in the top 25 in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.67) and strikeouts per nine innings (9.2).
Under Smith’s guidance, Casey Mize was named a consensus All-American and First Team All-SEC selection before becoming the first No. 1 overall pick in program history in 2018. Mize was also named the NCBWA District III Co-Player of the Year and a finalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and Golden Spikes Award. Tanner Burns was named an All-American in 2019, and the duo turned in the program’s only three 100-strikeout seasons since 2000.
Smith came to Auburn after serving as the head coach at Baylor for 21 seasons (1995-2015). He tallied 744 career victories with the Bears and is the winningest coach in the history of Baylor Athletics. Smith took Baylor to 13 NCAA regionals, four super regionals and the College World Series in 2005. The Gulfport, Mississippi, native is a five-time Big 12 Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame in 2006.
The NTDP offers 40 athletes an opportunity to connect with USA Baseball staff to better prepare for future national team experiences. The program includes skill development sessions, off-field educational seminars, an intrasquad series between Stars and Stripes teams, and exposure to professional scouts, college recruiters and the 18U National Team staff and task force.
The 2019 17U NTDP will take place July 21-25 in the Chicago metropolitan area and will feature intrasquad scrimmages at Wrigley Field, Northwestern University, the University of Notre Dame and Miller Park.