The following release was issued by Ole Miss Softball today:
Ole Miss head softball coach Mike Smith has resigned from his position.
"We are committed to a healthy culture and overall experience for our student-athletes," said Carter. "Our primary focus is to foster success for everyone involved with our program, on and off the field, while continuing our rise as one of the premier softball programs in the nation. Coach Smith helped establish our softball program as a national contender and we wish him all the best."
Smith guided the Rebels for the past five seasons and amassed an overall record of 187-112. His teams earned four NCAA Regional berths and twice advanced to Super Regionals. They captured the program's first SEC Championship in 2017.
On November 18, 2019, Extra Inning Softball reported that Smith had been suspended. Here's the text of that earlier report:
Two sources, including a prominent club coach, have told Extra Inning Softball it’s related to Title IX issues. “(Several players) filed Title IX complaints on him,” the coach said, going back to accusations made last month. A parent of a softball player with ties to the SEC school said, “It is some kind of Title IX thing.”
The university has not gone public with any statements confirming or denying the reports.
Smith is going into his sixth year at Ole Miss, with a 186-114 overall mark and 46-73 record in the SEC.
Prior to coming to Mississippi in May of 2014 he was the head coach at McNeese State, where he led the Cowgirls to Southland Conference regular season championships in 2013 and 2014, and at Cal Baptist, where he led the team to the 2009 NAIA National Championship..
In 2019, the rebels went 41-20 and finished 5th in the SEC—it’s highest finish ever in the conference—and had 14 wins over ranked opponents before concluding the year at No. 15 in the final NFCA Coaches Poll.
This would be the second time in less than a year Smith has been suspended by the Ole Miss athletic department: he was suspended in February of 2019 for the opening weekend of play due to "not meeting the university’s expectations for operating the program," according to a report issued by the school.
The program has been on an upswing both on the field and in recruiting. The Rebels had a strong recruiting class, signing seven players in the Class of 2020 and finished ranked #15 in the Extra Inning Softball Top 50 rankings.
Jacksonville Storm pitcher Aynslie Furbush, #47 in the 2020 Extra Elite 100, EC Bullets-Byars catcher Paige Patterson, #61 in the 2020 Extra Elite 100, and Athletics-Mercado/Smith 2B Jessica Acosta, #65 in the 2020 Extra Elite 100, were three top 100 signees for the Rebels.