Bianca Smith became the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball Monday after the Boston Red Sox announced she would be joining their minor league team.
Smith, who is currently a hitting coach at Carroll University in Wisconsin, will be the first Black woman to coach in professional baseball, according to the Red Sox.
“I think it’s a great opportunity also to just kind of inspire other women that are interested in this game,” Smith told the MLB Network Monday. “This is not something I thought about when I was younger, I just kind of fell into it being an athlete. So I’m excited to get that chance to show what I can do.”
Part of Smith’s focus, she told the MLB Network, was learning more about how bodies worked in order to cater training drills to each individual athlete’s bodies. She also said that she often works with players based on their statistics and metrics.
It will be another few weeks before she begins working with the Red Sox, Smith said, as she completes training with her collegiate athletes.
Prior to working at Carroll University, Smith served as an athletics compliance assistant at Case Western Reserve University. Smith interned previously with the Texas Rangers and worked as a baseball operations trainee with the Cincinnati Reds, according to her LinkedIn profile. She earned a J.D. in sports law at Case Western Reserve, where she also received a master’s in business administration.
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Smith is among a number of history making women in baseball over the past year, which has made some strides in being more inclusive to women on the operations side of the sport.
Alyssa Nakken, a former softball star, was hired to work as an assistant coach for the San Francisco Giants in January last year. Nakken became the first female coach in MLB history.
In November, the Miami Marlins made headlines by hiring Kim Ng as the team’s general manager. Ng, who worked for a number of teams including the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers, is the first woman and first East Asian American to ever hold the position in professional baseball.