UNIVERSITY CENTER, MI – The only head coach in Delta College’s history as a varsity baseball program has been released.
Dan Smith confirmed that his appointment as coach was terminated by community college on Wednesday, but was advised by the lawyer not to comment further. Delta College athletic director Dionne McCollum also said she could not comment on the situation.
Karl Rishe, Vice President of Student and Educational Experience at the College, issued the following statement:
“Coach Smith’s affiliation with Delta College has ended. We thank him for the development of Delta’s program and players over the last 10 years. Delta College will begin the search for a new baseball coach. Of course, all sporting seasons and exercises depend on the health and safety guidelines of local health authorities. We understand changes in coaching and COVID-19 makes this a stressful time for our athletes. As always, Delta is committed to supporting them with their academic and athletic pursuits. “
Some Delta players took to social media to show their support for the outgoing coach.
Smith took the helm of the novice Delta program in 2011, the last of three seasons the program spent under the club sports name. It achieved varsity status in 2012 and immediately became a team to compete on the Michigan Community College Athletic Association stage and in the National Junior College Athletic Association tournaments.
Smith led the Pioneers to a 239-177-3 record during his nine varsity seasons. Delta qualified for NJCAA regionals in all but two of these campaigns.
In 2017, Delta captured its first regional championship and went on to the NJCAA Division III World Series.
Smith said assistant coach Jeff Smith was also fired by Delta. The pioneers recently contested their Green and White intrasquad World Series and were preparing for the 2021 season after the 2020 campaign was halted due to the coronavirus threat. Delta posted a 7-5 record in the abbreviated campaign.