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John David Smelser joined the ETSU women’s basketball coaching staff in summer 2014 after serving as assistant coach of the girls and boys basketball teams at Tuscaloosa Academy -- in Tuscaloosa, Alabama -- from 2012-14 under head coach William Johnson. Under Smelser’s tutelage, the boys team won the Alabama Class 3A State Championship in 2014 with a 25-4 overall record. Previously, the girls team reached the state quarterfinals in 2013 with a 16-9 record. Smelser was also a key member of the coaching staff for a pair of state championship-winning baseball teams at both Tuscaloosa Academy and on the summer ball circuit.
As a student-athlete, the Alabama native played at the University of Alabama as an outfielder in 2010 before suffering a career-ending injury. Prior to UA, Smelser played at Shelton State Community College in 2009 and at Jacksonville State University in 2008.
In high school, the two-sport athlete was a four-year letterwinner in basketball at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa under head coach Scott Suttles. On the hardwood, Smelser was team captain and led his squad to consecutive 6A Area Championships in 2006 and 2007. Throughout his prep career, Smelser averaged 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.0 steals and knocked down free throws at an 86 percent clip.
Smelser earned a degree in exercise sport science from Alabama in 2011 and also received physical education certification from UA in 2014. The graduate assistant coach is currently working towards a Master of Arts degree in Sport Management at ETSU.