Jacki Smith

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Head Coach



Jacki Smith was named the Dordt women’s volleyball head coach in March 2022.  

Smith most recently coached at Carleton College (Minnesota) from 2018-21. She guided the Knights to a 12-10 record in her first season and her team saw positive statistical increases in serving, serve reception and blocking. Smith’s 2019 and 2021 teams included many young players and Carleton didn’t compete in fall 2020 or spring 2021 due to the COVID pandemic. While at Carleton Smith taught multiple classes, was a game day event manager, and she served in administrative roles.  

Prior to Carleton, Smith coached at Lancaster Bible College (Pennsylvania) for one season as her team won two-thirds of its matches in Northeastern Athletic Conference play and earned a berth in the 2017 NEAC Championships.  

Smith was an assistant coach at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul in 2015 and 2016 and while she was on staff the Eagles won back-to-back Upper Midwest Athletic Conference regular season and postseason titles and secured berths in the NCAA Championships. The 2015 team advanced to the NCAA Regional Finals and the 2016 team made the national semifinals.  

Smith got her coaching start in December 2014 when she coached both junior varsity volleyball and basketball at Concordia Academy (Minnesota) and she also coached the Crossfire AAU basketball program. 


Competed in both volleyball and basketball at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul for four years and served as volleyball captain her senior season. Finished her career with 136 blocks (0.91 per set) and helped the Eagles to the NCAA Division III Tournament every season.  


Master's Degree in Coaching & Athletic Administration- Concordia University – Irvine 

Bachelor's Degree in Marketing, Minor in Biblical Studies - University of Northwestern - St. Paul 

Coaching Philosophy 

There has always been one common thread throughout each of my athletic experiences: relationships. Regardless of the sport, the level, what was at stake, the thing that sticks out to me consistently is that I was consistently surrounded by other people. The consistent factor that has always made athletics special to me was the people I was with. As a coach, this has stuck with me. My greatest desire when I’m coaching is to foster an environment where relationships can be cultivated, develop and flourish. As a coach, my mission is to develop individual relationships with each of my players so that I can coach them effectively. I understand that no two athletes are alike, and in order for our team to be successful, I may have to coach individuals differently in order to get the best out of them. Beyond the court, I care deeply for my players and desire to serve as a mentor and guide throughout their collegiate experience and beyond.  

Athletics has always been a metaphor for life for me. I learned many lessons about relationships, hard work, and ethics throughout my athletic career. My desire as a coach is to help my athletes grow into strong, confident, capable, women of character. Regardless of their successes on the court, I hope to see each of my players leave the volleyball program as better people than when they entered the program as freshmen. A pillar in my coaching philosophy is the idea that “who we become is far greater than anything we accomplish.” I am deeply committed to helping each young woman in the program grow as a person, and I believe that personal growth positively correlates to success.  

My ultimate desire is to honor Christ. I hope to set an example of servant-hearted humility and hard work through my coaching that reflects Christ’s example set for us.