Wonder Boys Add New Assistant Coach

Almir Smajic, a former graduate assistant coach at Texas Tech University, has been named assistant men’s basketball coach at Arkansas Tech University.

A native of Tuzla, Bosnia, Smajic spent four years with the Texas Tech program while earning a Ph.D. in mathematics education. He worked under head coaches Bobby Knight and Pat Knight during his time with the Red Raiders.

Smajic has a total of seven years of coaching experience. He was a graduate assistant at Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.) from 2003-05 and an assistant coach at Gulf Coast Community College (Fla.) in 2005-06.

During his time in the coaching profession, Smajic has helped recruit 38 international student-athletes to play college basketball in the United States.

A graduate of Barrington High School (Ill.), Smajic played four years at Freed-Hardeman University and helped the Lions reach the 1997 NAIA National Tournament.

He went on to play four seasons of professional basketball in Bosnia, Poland and the United Arab Emirates before embarking upon a career in coaching.

In addition to his Ph.D. from Texas Tech, Smajic also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Freed-Hardeman.

Smajic, who is engaged to Renata Pedreira, will serve as head coach Doug Karleskint’s top assistant coach in 2010-11. It will be Karleskint’s first season as head coach at Arkansas Tech. Karleskint served as an assistant coach for the Wonder Boys in 2009-10 and was promoted to head coach on April 16.

Arkansas Tech established a school record for wins in a season (30) and was ranked No. 1 in NCAA Division II for seven weeks during the 2009-10 season. The 2009-10 Wonder Boys were Gulf South Conference West Division champions, GSC Tournament champions and they reached the second round of the NCAA Division II Tournament.