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Former Lamar women's basketball assistant coach Bianca Smith joins the team in Colorado. Smith played for the Buffaloes from 2006 to 2010. (Lamar University Athletics)
Former Lamar women's basketball assistant coach Bianca Smith joins the team in Colorado. Smith played for the Buffaloes from 2006 to 2010. (Lamar University Athletics)

Bianca Smith returns to Boulder.

Smith, one of the best 3-point shooters in Colorado women's basketball history, was hired as an assistant by head coach JR Payne. Smith, who will coach the perimeter players, replaces Alex (Earl) Thomas, who is looking for a new opportunity after eight years with the team.

Smith, who played at CU from 2006-10, is just the sixth former CU player to return to the program as a full-time coach, joining that list of current Buffs assistant/director of player development Shelley Sheetz.

The others who returned as coaches were Linda Lappe (head coach, 2010-16), Julie Hoehing (assistant, 1985-87), Susan Horner (assistant, 1979-83) and Jen Tubergen Warden (assistant, 1992-2002).

“We are thrilled to hire Bianca and bring one of our great Buffs back to Boulder where she can impact young women in the same way her life was impacted here as a student-athlete,” Payne said. “Bianca has been tremendously successful as a player and coach, and her passion for all things Colorado will be great for our program.”

Smith has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach at Lamar University. Before that, she spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Loyola University Chicago. During her career, she also worked at Pittsburgh, Rice and Texas Southern.

From 2006 to 2010, Smith, a 5-foot-9 guard from Missouri City, Texas, played 123 games for the Buffs, starting 61 of them, and was named the Big 12 Sixth Man of the Year in 2009-10. She made CU's all-time best three-pointers (257) until current Buffs guard Frida Formann broke that record (260) in CU's loss to Iowa in the Sweet 16 on March 30.

Smith holds CU's single-season record for 3-pointers made with 82, a mark Formann set last season. She is also tied with several other players for most 3-pointers made in a game with seven, a mark she reached three times.

During her career, Smith scored 1,138 points, ranking 27th in CU history. She averaged 9.3 points and 2.5 rebounds and has the most 3-point attempts (707) in program history. Her 3-point percentage (.364, 8th) and free throw percentage (.829, 6th) are both among the best in CU history.

After her college career, Smith played professionally in Lithuania for one season.

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