Sept. 17, 2011
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Former Sun Devil infielder Jack Smitheran was inducted into the UC Riverside Hall of Fame on September 17. Smitheran, who played three seasons at ASU in early 1960's, coached the Highlander baseball program for 31 seasons.
Smitheran was an infielder under Bobby Winkles at Arizona State, playing from 1964 to 1966. He was a member of the 1965 National Champions, the first baseball championship in school history. He hit .301 for the Sun Devils in his career.
He was named the UC Riverside head coach in 1974 after four seasons at Emporia State. When he took over the UCR program, they were a little-known Division II team. In just his fourth season he led the Highlanders to the National Championship, then won a second in 1982. He guided the program into the Division I ranks in 2002, earning an NCAA Regional bid in 2003. He retired following the 2004 season with a career record of 1,097-790-3.
In 2002 he joined his mentor, legendary Sun Devil coach Bobby Winkles, in the ABCA Hall of Fame and had his number retired at UCR in 2006.