Former Clemson guard joins MSU staff
STARKVILLE, Miss. — After spending the past three seasons with the Charlotte 49ers, Tanner Smith has returned to Mississippi State, this time as director of operations for Ben Howland.
He served in the same capacity for two years at Charlotte before being promoted to assistant coach this past season.
He joined the 49ers' staff after serving the 2014-15 season at Mississippi State as a graduate assistant.
"I'm extremely excited to be joining the staff here at Mississippi State," Smith said. "Coach Howland is an excellent coach and has done a tremendous job in just a short time here in Starkville. I can't wait to invest time and energy into this program, this university and especially our players."
A former standout at Clemson, Smith spent two years overseas playing professional basketball in Europe, where he played one year with Landstede Basketball of the Netherlands en route to garnering Dutch League All-Star accolades. He then played one season with MHP Risen Lugwigsburg in Germany before entering the coaching ranks.
While at Clemson, Smith appeared in 127 games. He finished his illustrious career with 986 points, 459 rebounds, 320 assists and 159 steals while helping Clemson earn three NCAA Tournament bids.
A 42.9-percent career shooter from the floor, Smith was the first player in Clemson history and the only ACC player in 2012 to average at least 10 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
"I'm thrilled and excited to have Tanner join our program and staff," Howland said. "He brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge to this level. He's a first-class young man that's played at a high level at Clemson and understands what it takes to have success. I know our players will learn a great deal from him."
Smith not only excelled on the court but in the classroom as well. He became only the second player in Clemson history to earn ACC All-Academic honors four times. In 2011, he was awarded the C.J. Spiller Award, which is presented annually to a Clemson student-athlete for excellence in both athletics and academics. Smith graduated from Clemson with a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing in 2012.
He signed with Clemson following an impressive prep career at Wesleyan School in Norcross, Ga., where he was listed as the 16th-best player in Georgia by Rivals.com.
Off the court, Smith founded Tanner's Totes, a non-profit organization that provides care packages and support for kids with cancer. In June, 2017, he was honored by Major League Baseball's Atlanta Braves as a Community Hero for his work with Tanner's Totes.
Smith and his wife, Julia, were married on May 4, 2018, in Atlanta.
I really EXCITED to have Tanner on our staff. He’s a great addition who brings so much knowledge. https://t.co/EaiwRGYXFS— Ben Howland (@Ben_Howland) May 16, 2018