LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Longtime Covenant women's basketball coach and athletic administrator Tami Smialek has stepped down as head women's basketball coach, effective on Friday, to pursue a new opportunity at the Ridge Haven Conference and Retreat Center in Brevard, N.C., announced Brad Voyles Vice President of Student Development.
Smialek had three separate coaching stints with the Lady Scots, covering a span of 20 seasons, and finishes with a 292-320 coaching record. She took Covenant to its first NAIA Division II National Tournament appearance in 1997. Smialek led the Lady Scots to a 13-11 record this season.
"In 29 years of capable and selfless service to Covenant in the areas of Athletics and Enrollment Management, Tami has been involved in coaching, teaching, administration, admissions, records, and financial aid. In each position and department, Tami poured her heart and soul into the work before her and demonstrated time and again her love for and dedication to Covenant College," said Voyles.
In addition to her coaching role, Smialek was the Director of Athletics for the last four years and was instrumental in Covenant's transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division III.
Voyles continued, "For the past four years, it has been my distinct privilege to work directly with Tami as she served as the Director of Athletics. She has been a real asset as AD in setting vision for the athletic department, in constructing a comprehensive athletic department strategic plan and in guiding the college through the process of pursuing membership in the NCAA."
"Tami has done a fantastic job bringing Covenant College through this transition into NCAA DIII," said Director of Athletics Kyle Taylor. "Her skill set was definitely suited for this transition, and I am standing on a firm foundation because of the groundwork she has laid over the past four years."
"I have really enjoyed working with Tami. We've had a good relationship over the past four years and have partnered together on many projects, and traveled together on many buses," noted Taylor. "I am sad to see her leave after 29 years at Covenant, but also excited for her to strike out on a new adventure. Ridge Haven is getting a diligent, hard working, servant oriented, Godly woman."
"I had the privilege to serve under Tami's leadership for the past six years," said Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance Tim Sceggel. "In that time Tami's commitment, vision and trust in me played a big role in my own professional development and in the development of the athletic department at Covenant. I will always be thankful to her for each of those things and wish her the best in her new position. Although she is leaving the mountain, she will always be a Scot!"
A search for a new head women's basketball coach will begin immediately.