Smith tests positive for coronavirus

Smith has tested positive for COVID-19 after experiencing “minor symptoms” this week

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OLIVER MCKENNA | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Smith will not be able to attend the first game of the season.

RYAN ROOT, Evergreen sports editor

Men’s basketball head coach Kyle Smith tested positive for COVID-19 Wednesday afternoon, just one week before the Cougars’ season opener against Texas Southern University on Nov. 25.

Smith experienced some “minor symptoms” the night before his positive test was announced, according to his official statement.

Smith is self-isolating and is currently quarantined from the rest of the team. He is not expected to physically return to coach the team until after the Nov. 25 matchup against Texas Southern.

At this time, no other staff members or players affiliated with the team have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I will continue to follow the advice of our medical staff and follow their guidance to get back to the team as soon as possible,” Smith said in his official statement.

In his place, assistant coach Jim Shaw will step in as the active head coach for the Cougars’ season opener. This will be the first time Shaw led a basketball team as a head coach since the 2018-19 season for the University of Western Oregon Wolves.

“I will continue to stay connected remotely, and know our staff and players will work diligently leading into our first game next week,” Smith said.

The Cougars’ next game following Nov. 25 is at home against the Eastern Washington University Eagles on Nov. 28. Time will tell if Smith will be able to return to the Cougar sideline and begin his second year as a head coach against Eastern Washington.