Utah State Univ. - Men's Basketball Camps

Coaching Staff

Craig Smith
Head Coach

Craig Smith was named the 19th head coach of Utah State men's basketball on March 26, 2018.

In all, Smith has 22 years of collegiate coaching experience, including seven years as a head coach, and has been to postseason play 10 times during his career, while winning three regular season and two postseason conference championships. As a head coach, Smith has been named conference Coach of the Year three times (2006, 2007, 2017) in addition to receiving the NAIA II National Coach of the Year Award in 2007 and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 12 Coach of the Year Award in 2017.

Smith also has experience coaching in the Mountain West as he spent five years as an assistant at Colorado State from 2008 to 2012.

Smith comes to Utah State after spending the past four years as the head coach at the University of South Dakota, where he led the Coyotes to a 79-55 (.590) record, including a 38-26 (.594) mark in the Summit League. In his last two seasons at USD, he led the program to back-to-back postseason appearances (NIT, CBI) and a conference championship (2017), as the Coyotes produced a 48-21 (.696) record, including a 23-7 (.767) mark in league play.

During this past season at South Dakota, Smith led the Coyotes to a 26-9 record, which is the second-most wins in school history, and its best record in their 10 years at the Division I level. USD also finished second in its conference during the 2017-18 campaign with an 11-3 mark and advanced to the championship game of the Summit League Tournament, followed by an appearance in the College Basketball Invitational, which was its second-straight postseason appearance. In all, USD did not lose back-to-back games once during the 2017-18 regular season.

Statistically, South Dakota led the Summit League and ranked 12th in the nation in scoring margin (+12.2 points per game) during the 2017-18 season, while also ranking first in the conference and 32nd nationally in field goal percentage defense (.409), and first in the conference and 36th in the nation in field goal percentage offense (.476). USD also ranked third in the Summit League and 35th in the nation in scoring offense (80.9 points per game) during the 2017-18 campaign, second in the conference and 30th in the nation in turnovers (11.1 per game), and second in the league and 20th nationally in turnover margin (+3.2 per game). The Coyotes also led the league and ranked 65th nationally in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.329) last season and were first in the conference in scoring defense (68.7 points per game), while also ranking second in the conference in both free throws made (555) and attempted (740).

Following the 2016-17 season, Smith was named the Summit League and NABC District 12 Coach of the Year as he led South Dakota to a 22-12 record, including a 12-4 mark in league play, to win its second-ever Division I conference championship. The Coyotes concluded the season by playing in the National Invitation Tournament.

During his four years as the head coach at South Dakota, Smith coached nine players who earned a total of 11 Summit League honors, including Matt Mooney, who was a two-time first-team all-league honoree and a two-time NABC All-District 12 team member.

Prior to being the head coach at South Dakota, Smith spent two seasons as an assistant at Nebraska (2013-14) and five seasons as an assistant at Colorado State (2008-12), helping the Cornhuskers to the 2014 NCAA Tournament and the Rams to the 2012 NCAA Tournament. While at CSU, Smith also helped the Rams advance to the 2010 CBI Tournament and the 2011 NIT.

Smith's other head coaching stint was at Mayville State University in North Dakota, where he compiled a 72-29 record in three seasons and three-straight NAIA II National Tournament appearances from 2005-07. The Comets were 1-25 the season before Smith’s arrival and competed in the NAIA National Championship game in their third season under Smith.

After winning 17 games in his first season at Mayville State, the Comets set a school record for victories with 28 during the 2005-06 campaign, while winning the Dakota Athletic Conference (DAC) regular season and tournament championships. Mayville State advanced to the national quarterfinals before falling to the eventual national champions.

In 2007, Smith was named the NAIA II National Coach of the Year when the Comets defended their regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the National Championship game. It marked the first time any men’s basketball team from North Dakota had ever played for a national title. Smith also earned DAC Coach of the Year honors in both 2006 and 2007.

Smith began his coaching career as an assistant at Mayville State during the 1996-97 season as he helped the Comets advance to the NAIA II Tournament. He then spent the 1997-98 season as a graduate assistant at Northern State in South Dakota, helping the Wolves to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament. He then spent three seasons as an assistant at Minot State in North Dakota, followed by three more seasons as an assistant at North Dakota State, where he began his affiliation with current Nebraska head coach Tim Miles. Following his three years as head coach at Mayville State, Smith worked under Miles at both Colorado State and Nebraska before becoming the head coach at South Dakota.

Smith is a Stephen, Minn., native and a 1996 graduate of the University of North Dakota, where he earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education. He then earned his master’s degree in teaching and learning from Northern State, where he served as a graduate assistant for the 1997-98 season. The Wolves reached their first-ever Elite Eight that season.

Smith and his wife, Darcy, have three sons: Landon, Brady and Carson, along with a daughter, Lauren.

Austin Hansen
Assistant Coach

Austin Hansen is in his first year as an assistant coach with Utah State men's basketball, joining the staff following four years under head coach Craig Smith at South Dakota.

While at South Dakota, the Coyotes enjoyed unprecedented success at the Division I level with back-to-back 20-win seasons, a regular season Summit League Championship and the school’s first ever appearance in the Summit League Tournament Championship game. Overall, USD was 79-55 (.590) over the past four seasons, including 38-26 (.594) in conference play. In the past two seasons alone, South Dakota was 48-21 (.696) and 23-7 (.767) in league play, while advancing to a pair of postseason appearances in the NIT and CBI.

Hansen was responsible for the perimeter players at USD, guiding his athletes to several all-league honors and one of the most efficient offenses in the Summit League. Junior guard Matt Mooney was a two-time, first-team all-Summit League selection after leading the Coyotes in scoring in back-to-back seasons with 18.7 points per game as a junior and 18.6 points as a sophomore. Overall, USD led the Summit League in field goal percentage, shooting 47.6 percent (1,017-of-2,136) from the floor last season.

South Dakota was one of the best in ball security under Hansen’s watch, finishing second each of the past two seasons in turnovers per game. USD was also one of the top programs in the Summit League in creating turnovers, finishing second and third in steals per game, while finishing second and first in turnover margin. Mooney was another big part of the Coyotes’ success defensively, finishing second in the Summit League with 2.3 steals per game last season.

Prior to USD, Hansen was an assistant coach at Northern Colorado for a season, where he helped the Bears to an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament and an 18-14 overall mark.

Hansen joined UNC following five years as an assistant coach at his alma mater, South Dakota State. Hansen helped the Jackrabbits to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013, along with two Summit League Tournament Championships and one regular season title. Hansen was also the lead recruiter of SDSU’s Nate Wolters, the all-time leading scorer in South Dakota State history with 2,353 points and a 2013 NBA Draft pick.

Hansen began his coaching career at Minnesota State in Mankato, Minn., helping the Mavericks post an overall mark of 116-37, including four-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Hansen coached 12 players to all-North Central Conference honors, including two MVP awards and placed five on the academic all-NCC teams.

As a player at South Dakota State, Hansen was a four-year letterwinner and a two-time team captain, while earning a pair of all-region and three all-NCC honors. Hansen led the Jackrabbits in scoring all four years and finished his playing career as the second-leading 3-point shooter and third-leading scorer in program history. During his junior year, Hansen led the Jackrabbits to a North Central Conference regular season and postseason championship.

Hansen, originally from Valley Springs, S.D., was named the South Dakota High School Mr. Basketball in 1998. He and his wife, Andrea, have three daughters: Hannah, Hadlee and Harper.

 

Eric Peterson
Assistant Coach

Eric Peterson is in his first year as an assistant coach with Utah State men's basketball, joining the staff following four years under head coach Craig Smith at South Dakota.

While at South Dakota, the Coyotes enjoyed unprecedented success at the Division I level with back-to-back 20-win seasons, a regular season Summit League Championship and the school’s first-ever appearance in the Summit League Tournament Championship game. Overall, USD was 79-55 (.590) over the past four seasons, including a 38-26 (.594) mark in conference play. In the past two seasons alone, South Dakota was 48-21 (.696) and 23-7 (.767) in league play, while advancing to a pair of postseason appearances in the NIT and CBI.

Peterson directly worked with the post players at South Dakota, mentoring his charges to a first-team all-Summit League honor for Tyler Flack, and a pair of second-team all-Summit League accolades in Trey Burch-Manning and Tyler Hagedorn. Last season, Burch-Manning finished sixth in the Summit League in rebounds per game, averaging 6.8 per contest. Hagedorn finished second on the team with 13.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per contest, while leading the team with 28 blocks during the year. Burch-Manning was also named to the Summit League all-Newcomer Team in 2016-17 after finishing fourth in the Summit League with 7.8 rebounds per contest during league play in his first year in Vermillion. That same season, Flack finished second on the team with 15.2 points per game and led the Coyotes with 6.8 rebounds per game and totaled 41 blocks.

Over the past two seasons in the Summit League, South Dakota finished third (37.69 rpg) and second (37.38 rpg), respectively, in total rebounds per game, and ranked third both seasons in offensive rebounds per game with 10.26 offensive rebounds per game in 2017-18 and 10.44 offensive rebounds per game in 2016-17.

In addition to working with the posts, Peterson was also in charge of scheduling for the Coyotes and didn’t shy away from tough competition. In 2017-18, South Dakota played at Duke, and took both UCLA and TCU to the wire in road contests in Los Angeles, Calif., and Forth Worth, Texas. The 2016-17 schedule included road games at Nebraska and Gonzaga, while the 2015-16 schedule included a victory at Minnesota, 85-81, in double overtime, snapping the Golden Gophers’ 47-game non-conference home winning streak.

Prior to USD, Peterson was the head men’s basketball coach and Director of Athletics at Williston State College, a junior college in Williston, N.D. During his tenure, the Tetons compiled an overall mark of 52-15 and captured the 2014 Mon-Dak Conference Championship and the 2013 Region XIII Championship. In his final season at WSC, the Tetons won 27 games, had their best winning percentage in program history and earned the program’s first-ever top-25 ranking. The performance led to Mon-Dak Coach of the Year honors and a pair of NJCAA All-American honors for Marquel Curtis and Trey Dickerson. As the AD, Williston State added hockey and softball during his watch, along with various renovation projects of the WSC facilities.

Peterson was also an assistant coach at Williston State from 2005-09, coaching three All-Americans before departing for two years while serving as an assistant coach at Minnesota State Moorhead.

While at Minnesota State Moorhead, Peterson helped the Dragons to their first winning season in 10 years. The following year, Moorhead opened with 11-straight victories, was ranked as high as No. 16 in the national polls and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Individually, the Dragons generated a pair of Division II All-Americans in Jordan Riewer and Alex Novak.

Peterson cut his coaching teeth at La Crescent High School in La Crescent, Minn., before coaching the Wisconsin Playground Warriors, regarded as one of the top AAU programs in Milwaukee, Wis.

Peterson is originally from West Salem, Wis., and graduated from UW-La Crosse with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He also holds a master’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in sports management and education from South Dakota.

Peterson and his wife, Lindsey, have a daughter, Flynn, and two sons, Isaiah and Briggs.

David Ragland
Assistant Coach

David Ragland will enter his first season on the staff at Utah State in 2018-19 after being named an assistant in June, 2018. Ragland has 15 years of coaching experience and joined the Aggies after a two-year stint at Valparaiso.
 
During the 2017-18 season, Valpo posted a 72-65 victory over the Aggies in the Mountain West/Missouri Valley Challenge with Ragland on the Crusader staff. In his first season at Valparaiso, Ragland helped the Crusaders capture 24 victories, a Horizon League regular season championship and an at-large bid to the NIT. He also mentored Alec Peters, who was the 54th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft after being named the Horizon League Player of the Year. The 2016-17 season at Valpo also generated a pair of all-conference selections, as Peters was named first team and Shane Hammink earned second-team honors.
 
Ragland’s primary responsibility at Valpo was the offense, where the Crusaders finished in the top five of the Missouri Valley last season in points per game and scoring margin, and finished third in field goal percentage.
 
Prior to his arrival in Valparaiso, Ind., Ragland spent one season at Northern Kentucky, where he laid the groundwork for a program in its infancy. The Norse finished the year 9-21 in their first year in the Horizon League, but earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament the very next year, finishing with a mark of 24-11 behind a recruiting class that Ragland helped to bring together. Two of his recruits, Jalen Tate and Lavonne Holland II, went on to earn all-Horizon League honors during the 2017-18 season.
 
Ragland spent the 2014-15 season on the staff at Bowling Green, helping the Falcons to a 21-win season, including the program’s first postseason victory since 1975, a 67-64 win over Saint Francis (Pa.) in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament. Under his tutelage, Richaun Holmes earned first-team all-MAC honors, was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Year and was drafted No. 37 in the 2015 NBA Draft. While at BGSU, Ragland recruited Matt Fox, who finished his career ranked fifth in school history in career 3-point shooting.
 
Ragland was also a member on the bench at Indiana State, serving as an assistant coach from 2010-14 and helping the Sycamores to postseason appearances all four years. The run included a berth in the 2010-11 NCAA Tournament. ISU totaled close to 80 wins over the same span and beat four nationally-ranked opponents. Individually, Ragland helped to mentor Jake Odum, a three-time all-Missouri Valley honoree, and Khristian Smith, who was named the Missouri Valley Sixth Man of the Year during the 2013-14 season.
 
Ragland began his coaching career as an assistant at Frank Phillips College, before moving on to Vincennes, where he was promoted to head coach after serving three years as an assistant. Ragland’s head coaching tenure included back-to-back 22-win seasons, extending a streak of 29 straight years with 20 or more wins for the program. He also led the Blazers to the finals of NJCAA District Tournament during the 2009-10 season.
 
As a player, Ragland played two years at Southern Indiana, helping guide the Screaming Eagles to a total of 47 victories and leading the team in assists each year. He began his playing career at Missouri Southern State College, helping the team to a 30-3 record as a freshman and a spot at the NCAA Division II Final Four.
 
Ragland and his wife, Annie, have two children: Ava and Joshua.

Tramel Barnes
Basketball Operations/Player Development

Tramel Barnes will enter his first season as a member of the Utah State coaching staff in 2018-19.

Barnes spent the last six seasons as the top assistant at Southwest Minnesota State, helping the Mustangs to a pair of first-place finishes in the South Division of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference over the past two seasons. SMSU compiled an overall mark of 53-15 over the two-year stretch, including a team-record-tying 28 victories during the 2016-17 season.

Barnes helped to mentor junior guard Ryan Bruggeman to a pair of first-team all-NISC honors over the past two seasons. Bruggeman led the Mustangs last season with 1.9 steals per game as SMSU led the NISC with 6.9 steals per game. Senior center Carter Kirk also earned second-team all-NISC honors last season after leading the league with 10.2 rebounds per contest. In all, Barnes helped Mustang players to six all-conference honors and 24 academic all-conference honors at SMSU.

Prior to his coaching career, Barnes played for the Mustangs for two seasons, appearing in 60 games for SMSU and scoring 351 points and tallying 213 rebounds over the course of his career. Barnes finished his career as the sixth-best free throw shooter in school history, converting 82.8 percent from the charity stripe during his playing days. He also played two seasons at Northern State University, appearing in 48 games for the Wolves, including eight starts.

Barnes graduated from Southwest Minnesota State with both an undergraduate and graduate degree in sports management and physical education, respectively.