With the Runnin’ Utes’ 2021-22 season less than two months away from tipping off, there is renewed buzz surrounding the program’s hire of Craig Smith as head coach back in March.

Earlier this month, college basketball reporter Andy Katz released a list of the 12 “most impactful” coaching changes this offseason, and Smith came in at No. 8 in an offseason that saw some rather big moves.

“Smith had Utah State as a consistent winner in the Mountain West. Once Utah made the decision to part ways with Larry Krystkowiak there was one call to make — to Smith,” Katz wrote. “He will/should keep the Utes in the upper half of the Pac-12 and a postseason contender. This was one of the most sensible hires during the cycle. He knows the landscape and should flourish.”

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Topping Katz’s list was another coach who stayed in the same state but moved schools, Chris Beard, who went from Texas Tech to Texas.

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The full list is as follows:

  • Chris Beard, Texas.
  • Hubert Davis, North Carolina.
  • Porter Moser, Oklahoma.
  • Mike Woodson, Indiana.
  • Shaka Smart, Marquette.
  • Tommy Lloyd, Arizona.
  • Richard Pitino, New Mexico.
  • Craig Smith, Utah.
  • Kim English, George Mason.
  • Speedy Claxton, Hofstra.
  • Tim Miles, San Jose State.
  • Kevin Kruger, UNLV.
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