Smith brings past of on-court excellence to Cougar basketball program 


Chloe McKinnie

The No. 16-ranked scorer in Sam Houston State history now holds the reins to The Colony High School’s basketball program. 

Chanice Smith was introduced as the Lady Cougars’ head coach before the 2022-’23 season, and although new to The Colony, Smith has a storied past of excellence. 

“I think she’s a huge benefit for girls basketball because she is an ex-player,” TCHS Head Volleyball Coach Rachel Buckley said. “She took it to one of the highest levels of girls basketball that you can- to have that as an example is a huge motivation for the girls.”

In 2009, Smith graduated from Mansfield Timberview, then began a four-season stint at Sam Houston State that saw her surpass the coveted, 1,000-point mark, making her the 16th all-time leading scorer in school history, according to SHSU Record Books. 

“Basketball has been my life … Since I was five years old actually, [I’ve] been playing it ever since.” Smith said.

But her indentation on the collegiate record books did not stop there. Smith also is sixth in total 3-pointers made, 9th all-time in blocks and has more on-court time in a Bearcat uniform than all but six other players in program history.

Now, though, Smith has transferred her talent and abilities to the coaching front, where she has also garnered several seasons of experience.

Smith said she started her coaching career at Cedar Hill High School as a freshman basketball coach and varsity assistant softball coach. Later on, she was a varsity assistant coach at Cleveland High School for two years, then went to Hebron High School, where her tenure within Lewisville ISD began. 

Interestingly enough, Smith already had ties to the district. In fact, she received notice of the vacant head basketball coaching position from acquaintance and former co-coach, Rachel Buckley. The two have shared coaching duties on the same campus before, and have now reunited at The Colony. 

Once officially hired, Smith wasted no time putting into action the core of her coaching philosophy – relationships. 

“I’ve actually been meeting with kids one on one …  They are able to open up and get to know a little about me.” Smith said. “If I get to know each and everyone of you, then you build trust and with trust comes somebody who would break through a wall for you,” 

Now entering her ninth year of coaching, Smith still rears on the values she learned on-court to make her a better coach. 

“I’m on the sidelines now and I’m kind of missing that [playing] piece.” Smith said. “They’re looking up to me to lead them. I’ve always been a leader as a player as well, so being able to build relationships with my teammates, now I’m just building relationships with my players.” 

In her first year at The Colony, Smith has received a lot of support from the TCHS community, she said. Her coaching staff has been a big help in practices and preparing for the season all the way to the administration team making sure she feels welcomed and safe. 

“I love the community aspect here. I love the culture, the different diversity behind the students, I really enjoy that.” Smith said. “The faculty has been great, the kids have been great, I’m just happy to be here to build up the program.”