Livingstone College names Queen Smith as women’s basketball coach

Published 3:17 pm Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Livingstone News Service

SALISBURY — Livingstone College President Dr. Anthony J. Davis has named Queen Smith as the new head women’s basketball coach.

A native of New Haven, Conn., she was a standout tri-sport athlete competing in volleyball (All-Area), outdoor track (All-State) and basketball (All-State, All-Conference). She was a highly recruited full-scholarship athlete to play basketball at Quinnipiac College in Connecticut. During her career, she was the three-time Northeast Conference-10 Player of the Year, a feat no one else has ever accomplished in league history.

Smith became the 10th player in school history to score 1,000 points and earned an All-Star selection on the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference All-Star Team. She ended her career in the top 10 of all time in school history in scoring and top five all time in assists (476) and steals (394). To date, while remaining in the top 20 all time in scoring, she still holds those rankings.

Smith is a five-time Hall of Famer including at Quinnipiac University, the Connecticut Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame chosen for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

She graduated in 1996 with dual bachelor’s degrees in sociology, health and science studies.

When asked what sparked her drive, Smith said, “Let your work do the talking on the floor,” and “You can win, but you’ll never outwork me.”

Smith brought her unyielding work ethic forward to her scholastic, athletic and mentoring endeavors. She returned to her home city after college as a career specialist for the New Haven Board of Education. Concurrently, she was a head coach for women’s volleyball, head coach for basketball and assistant outdoor track coach for Wilbur Cross High School, where she was named Coach of the Year by two separate organizations.

She also ran the grant-funded National Youth Sports Program at Yale University, supervising all aspects of operations and project management. She was the activity director for nearly 10 years until tapped to be the assistant coach for the Yale Women’s Basketball Team. Her ability to attract basketball recruits, strategize and elevate the development of the backcourt guard play allowed Yale its first post-season invitation to the NIT.

Through her sustained passion and off-court skills in community leadership, Smith was called to be the community outreach coordinator for Yale women’s basketball and co-chaired the heralded Yale-New Haven Hospital/Smilow Center Pink Zone fundraising campaign. Bringing her players to work in various aspects, she raised both the city’s awareness of Yale Athletics and student-athlete’s sense of public duty. She has earned a State of Connecticut General Assembly Official Citation, a Secretary of State Public Service Award, a Partners in Education Award and an Elm Ivy Award for all her work.

Smith moved to North Carolina in 2011 and lives with her husband, Dr. David Smith Sr., and their four children. Prior to Livingstone, she worked at the prestigious Governor’s School located at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill, SC, where she facilitated the Accelerate Program for exceptional STEAM students. True to her creed of using athletics to cultivate exceptional character and citizenship, she continued to volunteer as a coach in recreation leagues and served as assistant coach for two local high schools.

Over the years, she has enjoyed helping scores of students across a spectrum of socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds realize their full aptitude. Her coaching technique stems from building self-value, dignity, integrity and collective duty. It was this mantra that helped her turn around one team’s 0-19 record to a 20-0 regular season win within five years.

“Queen Smith brings a breadth of experience in coaching at multiple levels and a demonstrated record of accomplishment for fostering the personal development of the student-athlete,” said Davis. “Livingstone College is fortunate to have attracted a coach of her caliber to Blue Bear nation. We are excited for her to cultivate passion, pride and purpose to our women’s basketball program.”

“I expect that consistency, honesty and accountability to self, the team and the larger community will be the backbone of the Blue Bear brand profile,” Smith said. “As such, we’ve already won the game.”