The wait is over.

The University of Utah has announced the hiring of Craig Smith. The Former Utah State head coach takes over for Larry Krystkowiak who was fired after a 10-year tenure.

Smith compiled a record of 74-24 at Utah State and has a career record of 225-108 (.676) in 10 years as a collegiate head coach. He led the Aggies to the 2021 NCAA tournament as the Mountain West’s second-place finisher with a 20-9 record, posting a 20-win season for the third year in a row. In his first year with the Aggies, Smith led the program to a 28-7 record, the most wins by a first-year head coach in USU history and the third-most wins overall in school history. USU advanced to the NCAA Tournament as a No. 8 seed, the highest in program history.

The Aggies played in the past two NCAA Tournaments and were projected to make the 2020 NCAA Tournament that was never held. Utah State lost in the first round of this year’s NCAA Tournament to No. 6 Texas Tech.

“Craig Smith brings incredible energy and passion, and a proven record of success,” said Utah Athletic Director Mark Harlan. “I’m thrilled to have him lead our men’s basketball program, and look forward to our student-athletes experiencing his incredible work ethic, dedication to being a teacher of the game, and his ability to relate with his players and help them achieve their greatest potential.”

Smith now becomes the 16th head coach in program history and will be tasked with getting the program back to its glory years and a higher standard of play.

In regards to player development, Smith has done a great job wherever he has coached. At Utah State, Smith and his staff developed 2020 NBA draftee Sam Merrill, and 2021 NBA prospect Neemius Queta. With the move up to the Pac-12, experts believe Smith will have even more success and turn out many NBA players at Utah.

Here’s how fans and the media reacted: