Mark Smith has been the head coach of the Canadian Women’s National Softball Team since 2009, and has led the team to a number of great results since taking over the program, highlighted by a gold medal finish at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, Ontario which marked the first gold medal finish for Canada at the event since 1983. International medals for Team Canada under Smith’s watch also include three bronze-medal finishes at the WBSC Women’s Softball World Championships in 2010, 2016 and 2018, as well as a silver medal at the 2011 Pan American Games. Prior to coaching with the Women’s program, he coached at the Junior Men’s and Men’s National Team level from 1996 to 2009.
In 2017 he was named High-Performance Director for the Women’s National Team program with Softball Canada as part of the preparation for softball’s return for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
Smith was considered one of the best softball pitchers ever during his extensive playing career that spans 25 years, two continents (North America and Australia), three countries (Canada, the United States and New Zealand), and five different provinces in Canada (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia). In addition to his professional career, Smith was a long-time member of the Canadian Men’s National Team, winning three Pan Am gold medals in 1979, 1983 and 1991 as well as World Championship gold in 1992.
In 1999, Smith was voted tenth among Nova Scotia’s top ten male athletes of the twentieth century, and he has been inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, the Softball Canada Hall of Fame (in 1999) and the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame (in 2004).
What’s your favourite food? Mexican
What’s your favourite book? Man’s Search for Meaning
What’s the best movie you’ve ever watched? The Notebook
What’s your pre-game ritual? I always take a nap, and then listen to music
What’s your favourite place that softball has taken you? Japan
What are your future aspirations? Work in high performance sport as an Administrator, or coach softball in the NCAA
If you could spend an hour with anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be? Nelson Mandela