Charmin Smith is the longest-tenured coach on the California bench and has been instrumental in turning the Golden Bears into one of the premier programs on the west coast and in the country. The 2018-19 season marks Smith’s 12th season in Berkeley.
Of the 14 McDonald’s All-Americans in California women’s basketball history, Smith has signed 12 of them since joining the California staff in 2007, including an impressive haul when she put together the 2009 class of four All-Americans that served as the foundation to California’s 2013 NCAA Final Four run.
The Bears have put together five Top 20 recruiting classes in Smith’s tenure, highlight by 2009 and 2011 classes that ranked in the top five nationally.
On the court, Smith has been instrumental in coaching the Bears to the top three individual seasons in program history. In her first two seasons in Berkeley, Cal set then-school records for wins in a season, finishing both years with 27-7 marks before Cal pushed itself into elite status with the record-breaking 32-4 Final Four campaign in 2012-13. The Bears also recorded their best Pac-12 record (17-1) and won their first conference regular season crown that year. Smith has helped lead the Bears to the postseason in 10 of her 11 seasons in Berkeley, including six trips to the NCAA Tournament in the last seven seasons and the program’s first ever appearance in the Final Four in 2013. She was also part of the staff that led the Bears to the 2010 WNIT Championship.
With the Bears, she led the development of guard Layshia Clarendon who became the No. 9 pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft by the Indiana Fever, as well as guard Brittany Boyd and forward Reshanda Gray, who were selected ninth and 16th, respectively in the 2015 WNBA Draft, and wing Mikayla Cowling, who was selected 33rd overall in the 2018 WNBA Draft.
Smith has also worked extensively with the Bears post players, helping with the development of Gray, the 2015 Pac-12 Player of the Year, all-conference and WNBA draftee Gennifer Brandon, and 2016 Pac-12 and USBWA National Freshman of the Year and three-time All-American Kristine Anigwe.
Smith came to Cal after serving as an assistant coach for three seasons at Stanford and spending six years playing professionally. During Smith's tenure as an assistant with Stanford, the Cardinal posted an 87-16 (.845) record and made a pair of NCAA Elite Eight appearances. While coaching for the Cardinal, Smith played an integral role in the development of three of the Pac-10's top posts - Brooke Smith, Jayne Appel and Kristen Newlin - and in the spring of 2007, she switched her focus to working with the Cardinal guards, including three-time Pac-10 Player of the Year Candice Wiggins.
Smith was a star player for Stanford from 1993-97, helping the Cardinal to three NCAA Final Fours, as well as three Pac-10 titles. Following her playing career, she joined the professional ranks in the ABL from 1997-98 as a member of the Portland Power. She also played three years in the WNBA and one year in the Swedish Basketball League.
Smith began her coaching career in 2003 as an assistant coach at Boston College, helping the Eagles to one of their most successful seasons in school history. During her lone season, Boston College won its first Big East title and received a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the Mideast Regional semifinals. A four-year letterwinner at Stanford, Smith earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in civil and environmental engineering from the school. The St. Louis, Mo., native was a two-time recipient of the Coaches' Award (1994, 1997) and was named the team's Most Improved Player in 1995.
In the summer of 2017, Smith was appointed to the WBCA Board of Directors as the Assistant Coach Director.
College Coaching Experience
2003-04: Assistant Coach, Boston College
2004-07: Assistant Coach, Stanford
2007-12: Assistant Coach, California
2012-present: Associate Head Coach, California