Jodie Smith will be entering his 16th season on the sidelines in the fall of 2021 and has positioned the Lady Hornets soccer program as one of the top teams in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).
Smith’s success on the field at ASU is evident as he had produced 48 All-Conference players, five SWAC Offensive Players of the Year, two SWAC Freshmen of the Year, a pair of SWAC Goalkeepers of the Year and a pair SWAC Defensive Player of the Year. In addition, he has produced 16 SWAC All-Tournament team selections and three SWAC All-Tournament MVP winners.
Equally as impressive is the success of his players off the field in the classroom. Among the players under his tutelage were 2014 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Senior CLASS Award National Finalist Kylee Hathaway and 2013 CoSIDA/GTE Academic All-District Selection and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar All-Region India Pleasant.
Over the course of eight seasons, Alabama State has placed 45 players on the SWAC All-Academic Teams and earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award in seven of those seasons. This past year, they posted 18 in just one season on the SWAC All-Academic Team.
This past season, Smith led Alabama State through an unprecedented COVID-19 spring season in which the team won their third conference title in five years with an undefeated run through the conference regular season and tournament. The Lady Hornets pitched three shutouts during conference play on their way to the NCAA Tournament against nationally-ranked Penn State. In the fall of 2019, the Lady Hornets qualified for the SWAC Tournament, before being ousted in the opening round. During the 2018 season, Alabama State had their string of back-to-back championships snapped by Grambling State in a 1-0 match in the championship. That loss was the eighth match on the season decided by just one goal.
The Lady Hornets won their second consecutive conference championship when they won the final two games of the tournament on penalty kicks, including a scoreless draw (4-3 PKs) against Grambling State in the championship match. They were able to finish the season with 11 wins, including a seven-match unbeaten streak down the stretch to claim the championship. They advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they fell to South Carolina in the opening round.
In the 2016 season, Smith led Alabama State to a historic season as the Lady Hornets went 11-10-1 overall and 7-2-1 in SWAC play. ASU defeated Jackson State and Texas Southern in the SWAC Tournament before edging Arkansas-Pine Bluff to win the school’s first-ever SWAC Tournament title. With the SWAC championship, Alabama State earned the automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Tournament as the Lady Hornets fell in the opening round to top-ranked South Carolina, 7-0.
During the 2015 season, Smith guided the Lady Hornets to the SWAC Championship match for the second time in three seasons and won his 50th career match at ASU with a 3-0 SWAC semifinal victory against Prairie View A&M on Nov. 6, 2015 in Huntsville, Ala..
The team earned two selections on the All-SWAC teams as sisters Ariela Lewis (First Team) and Aaliyah Lewis (Second Team) were each given the recognition. The two players were among the top point getters in the conference, combining for 23 goals and 16 assists. Prior to this time period, the Lady Hornets had not had a winning season in program history.
In the 2014 season, Smith guided the team to another double-digit win total, the first time in program history it has posted back-to-back seasons of double-digit wins. For a second straight season, the team was able to string together an unbeaten streak of at least seven games to mark the program’s second-longest winning streak. The run propelled them into the SWAC Tournament Semifinals.
Once again, the team was led offensively by Aaliyah Lewis, who followed up her stellar freshman season by again leading the SWAC in both goals (17) and points (45) on her way to being named the SWAC and College Sports Madness Offensive Player of the Year. It marked only the second time the conference has had a player receive the award in consecutive seasons. The Lady Hornets had four All-SWAC honorees in all with Lewis and Shelbi Vienna-Hallam being named First Team while Iita Pienimaki and Alexandria Cannon were named to the Second Team.
The 2013 season saw the Hornets rewrite the record books en route to the program’s first SWAC Eastern Division Championship, a record 14 wins, an undefeated SWAC record and program-best 11-game winning streak.
Among the team season records set were goals (58), goals per game (2.76), points (152), points per game (7.24) and assists (38). Smith’s squad featured six All-SWAC performers along with the College Sports Madness SWAC and SWAC Offensive Player of the Year Aaliyah Lewis, the College Sports Madness SWAC and SWAC Defensive Player of the Year Kylee Hathaway and the College Sports Madness SWAC and SWAC Freshmen of the Year Ariela Lewis. Aaliyah Lewis was also named as a Top 100 freshman by TopDrawerSoccer.
In 2012, the building of the program had its breakout year. ASU won a then team record eight wins highlighted by out of conference wins over Tennessee-Chattanooga of the Southern Conference and Lipscomb University of the Atlantic Sun Conference. The two victories were the among the highest profile wins for the SWAC.
That 2012 team was led by Alexandria Cannon, named the College Sports Madness SWAC Player of the Year and First Team All-SWAC and Anastasia McCleary, who was named the SWAC Freshmen of the Year. A total of six players earned All-SWAC recognition.
Among the highlights of Smith’s years at the helm of the ASU program was notching his 100th career win, a 1-0 road victory over SWAC in-state rival Alabama A&M on Oct. 5, 2012.
Smith has had success with stops at Piedmont, AUM, Georgia State and Mercer. His 1997 squad at Georgia State still stands as the most successful season in Panthers history, capturing the Trans America Athletic Conference Championship as well as a bid to the NCAA National Tournament, which is still GSU’s only appearance.
During his time with the Panthers and Bears, his players garnered the TAAC Player of the Year, the TAAC Tournament MVP, the A-Sun Freshmen of the Year and NSCAA All-South. All totaled, he had 22 All-TAAC/A-Sun honorees along with 11 consecutive years earning the NSCAA Team Academic Award.
An active coach among his peers, Smith currently serves on the NSCAA National Rankings Committee as well as the NCAA Central Region Advisory Board. Also serving stints as a NCAA National Soccer Championship Committee as a regional site official. He currently serves as the chair of the SWAC soccer coaches as the liaison to the conference office.
A familiar figure in the youth coaching ranks as well, Smith currently coaches with the Capitol City Streaks, a premiere youth soccer club in Montgomery and is a member of the Alabama Olympic Development Program coaching staff. Smith is also one of the directors of the Ralph Lundy Soccer Academy, one of the most well known camps in the Southeast. He holds a USSF National License, NSCAA Advance National Diploma and a USYSA National Youth License.
Coach Smith and his wife Tracy reside in Montgomery along with their two labradors Sadie and Maggie.