Tom Smith was the head men's basketball coach at Valparaiso University from 1980 until 1988. During his leadership, the Crusaders joined the AMCU in 1982. The 1983–1984 season was the first in Crusader history to appear in a conference tournament, losing to Western Illinois. His career record with the Crusaders was 84–138. Tom Smith is in his 22nd year at Missouri Western and his 35th year overall. While at Missouri Western, Coach Smith has compiled a 417–228 record. Smith has coached the Griffons to 10 NCAA Division II national tournaments, five MIAA regular season championships and four MIAA postseason tournament titles. Coach Smith has also been named MIAA Coach-of-the-year twice while he has been at MWSU. Under Smith's guidance, Western has produced an MIAA Most valuable player, an MIAA tournament MVP, 45 All-MAA selections, six All-Region picks, and three NCAA All-Americans. He currently has a .586 overall winning percentage at the college level, ranking him in the top 20 active coaches, and also is the winningest coach in Missouri Western history.