& # xD; BALTIMORE, Md. (August 23, 2023) — The Morgan State University Athletic Department has announced the hiring of Regina Smith as the women’s track and field and tumbling coach. The inaugural season of the new track and field and tumbling program, which will be USC’s 16th NCAA varsity sport, is slated for the 2023-24 season. & # xD; To date, Morgan is the first Historically Black College or University (HBCU) Division I program to offer the sport and only the third school in Maryland (Frostburg State University and Stevenson University) to offer athletics and tumbling. to add. & # xD; “We are thrilled to have Coach Regina Smith join the Morgan State family. She is the perfect person to lead this program and is committed to developing students and winning championships,” said Dena Freeman-Patton, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics. at Morgan State. “Thank you to Assistant Athletic Director Erlease Wagner and the rest of the search committee for leading a comprehensive process that included some very qualified candidates. Coach Smith quickly rose to the top of the list and I look forward to to see them take championships. excellent athleticism and team tumbling.” #xD; & # xD; Smith’s hire is the third major coaching selection Freeman-Patton has announced since he came aboard at Morgan last May. The University recently announced the hiring of Bears Football head coach Damon Wilson and head wrestling coach Kenny Monday. & # xD; Morgan will join the National Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA), a discipline of USA Gymnastics, to become its 40th member. After reaching the required participation threshold however, track and field and tumbling will be eligible for NCAA championship status — a major milestone for the sport and schools — once all participating NCATA programs reach NCAA sports sponsorship levels. & # xD; In addition to its NCATA membership, nationally, Morgan is only the fifth NCAA Divisi I school with a track and field and tumbling program, and the third HBCU across all divisions (after Bluefield State College, West Virginia State University) to have a program . & # xD; The NCAA added acrobatics and diving to its Division I Women’s Emergency Sports program in 2020. Acrobatics and tumbling arose from various disciplines of gymnastics, including the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The format was created at the collegiate level to address the interest and ability of young women competing in this skill set. During the competition, individuals and small groups perform acrobatic lifts, throws, and tumbling performed on the floor. The participation is divided into six events together in different group sizes. & # xD; “I am honored and blessed to be named the Head Acrobatics and Tumbling Coach at Morgan State University. It is a privilege to provide opportunities to compete at the highest level of our sport,” said Coach Smith. “I thank President Wilson and Athletic Director Dena Freeman-Patton for trusting and choosing me to develop a competitive program. I look forward to leading the Bears for years to come.”
During her coaching career, Smith has achieved over 30 National and high school Championship titles and 50 more for cheerleading, dance, gymnastics, and track and field at the collegiate level.
Smith comes to Morgan after serving as a founding board member of The Bling Effect from 2019-21, where she was the collegiate liaison between the organization and offensive teams.
Smith was the head collegiate cheerleading official for the NAIA East Region from 2014-21. She served two years as the head cheerleading coach at Otterbein University from 2016-18 and was the volunteer associate head cheerleading coach at Ohio State University in 2014.
Smith had a two-year stint as head athletics and tumbling coach, as well as spirit coordinator at Adrian College (2012-14), where she led the program in its inaugural NCAA season in 2012.
Prior to joining Adrian College, Smith was the spirit coordinator and assistant professor for two years at the University of Ottawa (2010-12) and spent three years at Thiel College as the spirit coordinator and head cheer and dance coach from 2007-10. While at Thiel, she created and implemented the school’s mascot (Tommy Tomcat) and fight song.
Her coaching career began in 2006 at Bolingbrook High School in Illinois, where she was the head coach and dance advisor.
Smith graduated from Illinois State University in 2006 with a degree in Business Communication Education and Mathematics and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Point Park University in 2009.
Smith is married to Jeurell Smith and they have a son Langdon (11) and a daughter Olivia (7).