Tamica Smith Jones, author of memoir “A Ball and a Dream: Making Your Next Move Count” was named UC Riverside's director of intercollegiate athletics in June of 2015 following two years as the senior associate athletics director for internal affairs and senior woman administrator (SWA) at UT San Antonio.
In May of 2016, she was appointed to the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Sport Committee which, among other things, determines the host institutions and the site of the championship(s) in collaboration with the Women's Basketball Oversight Committee, and selects, seeds and brackets the NCAA Championship. In 2017, Smith Jones was recognized by peers as Women Leaders in College Sports Division I Administrator of the Year. Additionally, Assembly member Jose Medina acknowledged Smith Jones with the 2017 61st Assembly District Woman of Distinction Award and the Vanguard Awards honored her as one of the top 100 Extraordinary and Influential Leaders in the Los Angeles area.
Smith Jones' primary roles and responsibilities at UTSA included oversight and supervision of women’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball, cross country, track & field, golf and co-ed cheer, as well as Title IX/gender equity, diversity and inclusion, student-athlete well-being, life skills, community engagement and coaches development. She also served as athletics liaison to the UTSA Student Affairs division and provided strategic planning and assessment.
Smith Jones came to UTSA from Clark Atlanta University, where she led the athletics department beginning in 2008. She was appointed liaison to the office of the president in January 2008 then was promoted to interim director of athletics in December of that year before being named director of athletics in January 2010.
Under her leadership, the Panthers captured seven Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Championships, including the first men’s basketball title in 46 years and the first-ever women’s cross country and volleyball crowns. Smith Jones also played a vital role in securing funding for numerous projects on campus, including new field turf for the football stadium, a pair of weight room upgrades and a football facility renovation. She established Clark Atlanta’s Athletics annual giving fund in 2008, and instituted several new opportunities for student-athlete participation and staff development.
Smith Jones was featured in the Diverse Issues in Higher Ed Magazine in March 2013 for bringing heightened attention toward student-athlete well being and establishing a successful academic support program at Clark Atlanta. Her initiatives included “Grades First Software,” which helped to enhance the student-athlete experience and academic success.
The Atlanta, Ga., native is an active member of many professional organizations and committees. She is or has been a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (featured articles on “Balancing your personal and professional brand” in June 2014 and “Women of Color: Changing the face of Athletics Administration” June 2017 NACDA Magazine), Minority Opportunities Athletic Association, National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (currently serves as a member of NACWAA Advancement Fund Committee), NCAA Leadership Selection Committee for Ethnic Males and Females, and Achieving Coaches Excellence Program Selection Committee. Smith-Jones also has served at or presented to the NCAA Committee for Women’s Athletics, NCAA Division II Athletic Directors Committee, NCAA Football Coaches Academy and Selection Committee, NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Continuing Education Conference, Career in Sports Forum and NCAA Division II Leadership Action Academy.
Before moving into her role as Clark Atlanta’s director of athletics, Smith Jones served as the Panthers’ director of compliance and SWA for three years.
Prior to entering athletics administration, Smith Jones was the head volleyball coach at Clark Atlanta during the 2003-05 seasons. She guided the Panthers to 57 victories in her three years, including four against NCAA Division I teams. Smith Jones led the Clark Atlanta to a 27-11 record in her second campaign and was named SIAC Coach of the Year, and she followed that with a 21-7 mark in 2005.
Prior to her time at Clark Atlanta, Smith Jones spent four years in various roles at Morris Brown College, also in Atlanta. She was the senior associate athletics director, SWA and head volleyball coach from 1999-2003 in addition to serving as an assistant women’s basketball coach in 1999-2000.
Smith Jones was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Savannah State in 1997- 98 and then was interim head volleyball and women’s basketball coach in 1998-99.
She played basketball at Troy (1993-95) and Alabama A&M (1995-97) and also was a member of the Alabama A&M cross country team in 1997.
Smith Jones earned her bachelor’s degree in management from Alabama A&M in December 1997, her master’s in public administration from Savannah State in December 1999 and completed a certificate program in business administration from Warren National (formerly Kennedy-Western) in February 2005.
A Ball and a Dream is available in paperback and eBook online through Amazon, Barnes and Noble and wherever books are sold. To contact Jones about a speaking engagement bookings@TJSportsComplete.com