South Carolina hires softball assistant from NC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) — South Carolina has brought on North Carolina assistant Beverly Smith as its first new softball head coach in nearly 25 years.

Smith has spent the past 12 seasons as an assistant coach and associate head coach for the Tar Heels. She's replacing Joyce Compton, who had coached the Gamecocks for the past 24 seasons and retired this spring.

"I am honored to join the University of South Carolina and its athletics department," said Smith. "The softball program at South Carolina is rich in tradition. I am excited for the opportunity to lead such a historic softball program and reestablish the winning tradition."

Smith helped North Carolina to eight NCAA tournament appearances and Atlantic Coast Conference titles in 2001 and 2008. Smith also worked as coach Donna Papa's recruiting coordinator.

Smith takes over a South Carolina program that struggled in the Southeastern Conference, going 1-27 in league play this season. The Gamecocks finished 11-40 and endured losing streaks of 13 and 11 games.

Copyright 2010 WIS. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.