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In his third year with the Tulane track and field program, Leigh Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Green Wave coaching staff. While serving as the program's throws coach, Smith has tutored Ana Ruzevic to back-to-back NCAA National Championships appearances and First Team All-American honors in the javelin.
In his two seasons with the Green Wave program, Smith has helped tutor one school record holder and has watched four throwers move into the indoor and outdoor record books.
Last season, Ruzevic opened the outdoor campaign with a school-record performance in the javelin. Ruzevic's throw stood up as the third best mark in the east region and was nearly a full meter longer than the previous school record. She also earned All-American honors by placing fourth at the 2011 NCAA National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa.
Ruzevic earned First Team All-Conference USA last season when she claimed the individual C-USA crown in the javelin. A three-time NCAA East Regional qualifier, Ruzevic also ranks among the school's all-time leaders in THE indoor weight throw.
Smith represented the United States in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he placed 18th in the qualifying round of the javelin competition. He earned his spot by posting the best distance by an American in 2008, which ranked 13th in the world prior to the Olympic Games.
Smith was a three-time SEC champion while at Tennessee, winning the javelin event during the 2001, 2003 and 2004 campaigns, along with earning All-American honors for the Volunteers in each of those seasons. In 2001 as a freshman, the Raleigh, N.C. native helped Tennessee to the men's NCAA National Championship in 2001 by placing fourth at the national meet as a rookie.
During his final campaign with the Volunteers, Smith shattered Tennessee's school record and the SEC Championship record, en route to his third individual javelin championship. He was also a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member while with the Vols.
Smith earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of Tennessee in 2005. The Olympian spent his time before the 2008 Olympics training at Tad Gormley Stadium, the home venue for the Tulane track and field program, in New Orleans.