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First Black Head Coach @ Cal Berkeley WBB | Former Pro Coach & Player | Equity Activist

Charmin Smith

Charmin Smith is an award-winning coach, former professional player, and active board member who has dedicated her career to progressing equity and opportunity. The true definition of a trailblazer, Smith is the first Black Head Coach at the University of California Berkeley’s women’s basketball program history and is on a mission to leverage her platform to lead societal change through sports. 

Smith’s unwavering dedication to empowering players to surpass their potential, her commitment to enhancing the representation of Black individuals in the sport, and her resolute drive to inspire action toward racial justice solidify her position as an influential leader in basketball and beyond.

Regarded as one of 2020’s top 100 most influential figures in Women’s College Basketball, Smith’s legacy at Cal Berkeley—beginning with her transition from Associate Head Coach to Head Coach–highlights her strategic acumen and commitment to player development. Her storied tenure includes a 2013 Final Four appearance and an impressive ten postseason appearances.

Currently serving on the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), Smith is renowned for her role as a Board Member and co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee. Her dedication extends far beyond the basketball court, as evidenced by her impactful contributions to the Cal Athletics Equity Inclusion and Diversity Task Force and her pivotal role in the Chancellor’s Counsel for Students of Color and Multicultural Engagement.

Smith’s actions truly embody her beliefs. From her involvement in social justice movements such as “Voices for Change” to her fundraising initiatives in the wake of societal disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Smith’s leadership style is characterized by inspiration, boldness, and unwavering resolve.

Smith’s previous roles at Stanford and Boston College allowed her to build upon impact, leading her teams to multiple NCAA appearances and historic victories. Her experience as a point guard for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx and Seattle Storm later influenced her time as an Assistant Coach for the New York Liberty.

As a standout player Stanford Women’s Basketball Team, Smith was a crucial component of the team’s three NCAA Final Four Appearances and three Pac-10 Conference Championships between 1995 to 1997. She holds both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University.

Coupled with her impressive career in basketball, Smith also pursued the challenging discipline of Muay Thai martial arts. As a testament to her relentless spirit, Smith applies the lessons from her passion off the court to her coaching approach on the court. 

Her leadership extends to a realm where the core values are honor and discipline, where she embodies the ethos that actions must follow words. And her steadfast commitment and achievements have set her apart to lead the future of sports. 

Driving change in sports today & inspiring leaders of tomorrow.

Leading Expertise:


  • Why advancing racial justice is essential to enhancing sports

  • The transformative impact of Black coaches in women’s basketball

  • How to foster a thriving culture for the underestimated & under-resourced

  • Why commitment & collaboration are critical to culture

Connect with Charmin


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