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Rumor Mill: South Dakota’s Craig Smith a Finalist for Drake Job

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South Dakota men’s basketball coach Craig Smith is a finalist for the head coaching spot at Drake, according to sources in Des Moines.

The 2016-17 Summit League Coach of the Year, guided the Coyotes to their first-ever regular season title in the conference, and a 22-12 record overall. USD’s season ended with an opening round NIT loss at Iowa.

Smith coached South Dakota to a 79-74 win at Drake this season.

Drake have been without a head coach since last December, when Ray Giacoletti resigned, eight games into his fourth season. Drake was 1-7 at the time, 32-69 during his tenure.

Giacoletti was replaced, on an interim basis, by assistant coach Jeff Rutter, who guided the Bulldogs to 6-17 record the rest of the season, which ended with a first round loss to Bradley in the opening round of the Missouri Valley Tournament.

According to reports out of the Des Moines area, Rutter, Smith, and a few others are on the short list to interview for the opening:

Smith just completed his third season in Vemillion. He came to USD in the Spring of 2014, from Tim Miles’ staff at Nebraska. Prior to Nebraska, Smith had assisted Miles at Colorado State, North Dakota State, and Mayville State. Smith was later head coach at Mayville State, where his teams went 72-29 and played in the 2007 NAIA National Championship game.

At South Dakota, the Coyotes are 53-46 under Smith.

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