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Assistant Leaves CSUN Basketball Staff

Rusty Smith, an assistant basketball coach at Cal State Northridge the past seven seasons, has resigned to accept a similar position at Eastern Washington University.

Smith, 35, was considered the top assistant and recruiting coordinator on Coach Pete Cassidy’s staff.

“He’s been kind of like my right arm,” Cassidy said. “You want someone who is imaginative and who can use his head and Rusty has been that. He has been very dedicated to the Northridge program.”

Smith joins the staff of Coach Bob Wade, a former coach at the University of Pacific who took over at Eastern Washington last month.

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Smith is a graduate of now-defunct Manhattan Beach Aviation High. He played basketball at El Camino College and Montana State before starting a seven-year career as a professional in Europe.

“In a sense, Rusty is going back to his old stomping grounds,” Cassidy said. “He played in the Big Sky (Conference) and I think had an itch to go back there.”

In accordance with the state’s affirmative-action hiring guidelines, Northridge will conduct a national search to find a replacement, Cassidy said.

Smith said he has suggested that Dave Fehte, a part-time assistant on CSUN’s staff, be promoted.

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