|Title:||Associate Director of Wieden Hall / Head Coach - Men's and Women's Cross Country / Head Coach - Men's and Women's Track and Field|
Chris Smith began his coaching career at UMPI coaching cross country part-time in the falls of 1987 and 1988 while working on his second bachelor’s degree. His first, a B.S. in Health, Physical Education and Recreation with an emphasis in martial arts instruction, was earned in 1983. His second physical education, teaching degree was earned at the time he was hired full-time at The University in December of 1988.
During his long and distinguished, career Smith has coached his teams to 18 Team Championships: the Northeast College Conference Men’s (1990, 1992) and Women’s (1992); the NAIA District 5 Men’s (1992, 1993) and Women’s (1993); the Maine Athletic Conference Men’s (1994) and Women’s (1994); the NAIA Northeast Region X Women’s (1994); the Dirigo Cup Men’s (1995, 1999); the NAIA Northeast Region X Men’s (1999); the NCAA Association of Division 3 Independents’ Men’s (2006 and 2007) and Women’s (2006); and the NAIA Sunrise Athletic Conference Women’s (2008, 2009, 2010).
These outstanding coaching results led to Smith being named cross country Coach of the Year 11 times: NAIA District 5 Men’s (1992, 1993); NAIA Northeast Regional Women’s (1994) and Men’s (1999); the USA Track Coaches Association NAIA Bi-Regional Men’s (1999); the NAIA Maine Athletic Conference Women’s (2001); the NCAA AD3I Men’s (2006) and Women’s (2006); the NAIA Sunrise Conference Women’s (2008, 2009, 2010); and most recently the NCAA D3 North Atlantic Conference Women’s (2018).
Smith has had over 150 individual athletes earning spots on all conference, all-district, all-region, all-Dirigo Cup, and NCAA Association of Division III Independents teams. He has had teams or individuals compete in NAIA or USCAA national championships on 23 occasions. Of particular note are the accomplishments of NAIA All-American Katherine Chabot (1996), USCAA two-time All-American Kayla Legassie (2012, 2013), and Maine All-State runners Charlie Violette (1991), Chabot (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996), Sara Richard (1995), Michael Waugh (1998), and Evan Graves (2001, 2002).
In addition to coaching cross country for UMPI, after coaching the UMPI Track and Field club team since 2010 Smith became UMPI’s first outdoor NCAA D3 varsity track and field coach with the spring 2018 outdoor season. Race Directing is also a big part of Smith’s career. He has directed the UMPI Spring Runoff 5K since April of 1989, the 2010 Presque Isle Sesquicentennial 5K, the Caribou Labor Day 8K from 2009-2018, the NAIA Northeast Region X preliminary and championship races in 1995 and 1999 with two races each year, TAC USA (now known as USATF) age group races on the UMPI campus; and the Sam Ouelet Memorial.
As a competitor, Coach Smith was the winner of the Aroostook Triathlon in 1983, 1984, and 1985. He qualified for and participated in the United States Triathlon Association races in Boston, MA, Portland, OR, Fort Lauderdale, FL, and the USTA National Championships in 1985 in Hilton Head Island, NC. Additionally, he has participated in numerous team triathlons, cycling races, road and cross country races, and continues in master’s level track and field meets.
Smith earned his Masters of Education degree from the University of Maine in 2002. He is a USATF Level I coach and is certified as an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Exercise Physiologist. He resides in Presque Isle with his wife, Kim, whom he met when they ran track and cross country together at Presque Isle High School.