San Francisco Basketball: Kyle Smith gets multiyear extension with the Dons

Kyle Smith will be leading the San Francisco Dons for the foreseeable future after a pair of 20-win seasons for the WCC dark horse.

The San Francisco Dons have found their man to lead them into the future in Kyle Smith.

The university announced a multiyear extension for their head coach last week, securing his services for the next several years. For how many years – and perhaps more to the point, how much money – wasn’t immediately disclosed.

Smith came over to the Dons following six seasons in charge of the Ivy League’s Columbia Lions. He led the Lions to over 100 wins during his time there, including a CIT Championship during his final season with the program.

He has quickly continued that success in San Francisco, winning at least 20 games in each of his first two seasons with the Dons. San Francisco went to the CBI in both of those seasons, finishing as the tournament’s runner-up in 2017-18.

The Dons used to be one of college basketball’s premier programs. They won three national championships and were led by the likes of Bill Russell and K.C. Jones.

Prior to last year, however, they hadn’t won 20 games in back-to-back seasons since the 1980-81 and 1981-82 campaigns.

Smith has the Dons trending in the right direction, but there’s still another leap to be made: back into NCAA Tournament contention. San Francisco has tied for fourth in the WCC in the past two years with Santa Clara and San Diego, respectively. Reaching the pedigree of Gonzaga and Saint Mary’s will always be challenging, but San Francisco should place themselves on the same tier of relative conference newcomer BYU.

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The Dons bring back most of their core from last season. If Kyle Smith is to earn his new contract extension, the time is now to bring San Francisco back to the Big Dance.