Tracy Smith enters his eighth season as head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers. IU went 32-28 this past season, including 14-7 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers fell 6-5 to Purdue in the Championship Game of the Big Ten Tournament. A native of Kentland, Ind., Smith led Indiana to the 2009 Big Ten tourney title, the first for the program since 1996 and second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.


A 1989 graduate of Miami (Ohio), Smith posted a record of 317-220-1 (.590) as head coach at his alma mater. His RedHawks put together eight consecutive 30-win seasons.


Smith has a keen eye for baseball and a keen ear for music. He will give us his thoughts through the spring on Indiana baseball and on American Idol. Follow Smith on Twitter at @HoosierBaseball.


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Jan. 10, 2013


Hoosier Idol


As a college baseball coach, I have always been one who takes a lot of pride in being "more than just a coach." I consider myself to be multi-talented, especially when it comes to judging vocal talent. In fact, we have a three-microphone Karaoke set-up in our basement at home complete with more than 90,000 songs which allows us to host numerous gatherings for friends and colleagues to show off their hidden talents. Therefore, you can only imagine how excited I was when Phil Stanton and asked me if I would be interested to write a blog throughout the baseball season; but more importantly, throughout "Idol Season." The response was easy . . . "Absolutely!"


I guess, or so Phil has led me to believe, that I have been someone identified as an "Idol-Aficionado" because of some comments I made at a post-game press conference during the Big Ten baseball tournament in the past. Well . . . he is correct. I have been a big fan of the show since Season 2. I have to confess that I did not watch Season 1 nor did I have any idea what the big deal was about some "goofy-haired dude and some girl named, Kelly" singing songs for a panel of judges during the inaugural season of American Idol, but I got hooked the next year and have been a loyal fan . . . excuse me . . . expert of the show ever since.


I, like most people across the country, miss Simon. To me, he made the show. I like Randy, but "Dawg", "Dude", and "Name-Dropper extraordinaire" just can't quite deliver the same "cut-to-the-heart" critique that I could always count on Simon delivering. That's been my biggest beef with my show in recent years - it's become too nice! If I had to go one more season listening to Steven Tyler tell a contestant how "beautiful" their rendition was, or Jennifer call another singer (male or female) "baby" I was going to throw-up and shift my loyalties and to The Voice, which by the way, I do NOT watch.


Well anyway, if you enjoy college baseball and talented singers, I hope you will join me this upcoming season at each week as we rehash some baseball and American Idol. I am excited to see if new judges, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and Nicki Manaj (I am a fan of hers since she came to IU during Little 500 weekend) can find the same groove with Randy and Ryan that we had a few seasons ago with Simon and the original crew. And, I will do my best to try and get some of the "real" Idol people to join us. Country Music singer Scotty McCreery (Season 10 winner) is a huge baseball fan so he is my Number 1 target to get us to join our discussions. It should be fun . . .


(photos courtesy of IU Media Relations Office)