Bianca Smith becomes first Black woman to serve as professional baseball coach

Bianca Smith becomes first Black woman to serve as professional baseball coach
The former collegiate softball player was hired by the Boston Red Sox after serving as a hitting coordinator at Carroll University.

The Boston Red Sox have hired Bianca Smith as a Minor League coach, making her the first Black woman to serve as a professional baseball coach in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Smith, 29, will work with Boston's minor leaguers, focusing mainly on position players.

"She was a great candidate coming in," Red Sox vice president of player development Ben Crocket told the Boston Globe. "She's had some really interesting experiences and has been passionate about growing her skill set."

Speaking to the MLB Network, Smith said: "The opportunity is amazing. I am excited to get the chance to show what I can do. I think it's a great opportunity also to inspire other women who are interested in this game."

Smith played softball at Dartmouth College (2010-2012) and served as an assistant coach at the University of Dallas. Her first MLB experience dates back to 2017 when she interned for the Texas Rangers in the baseball operations department. She had another internship in the baseball operations department of the Cincinnati Reds before being hired by Stein Rear, baseball head coach at Carroll University, as hitting coordinator because of her strong background in the biomechanical and analytic sides of baseball.

"I want my players to challenge me," said Smith, who has set herself a goal of becoming a MLB manager one day. "I want to be able to challenge them. I want to make them their own coach and the only way to do that is to learn as much as I can, and give them options and figure out what works for them."

MLB had the first on-field female coach last season when Alyssa Nakken signed with the San Francisco Giants. Three more women were hired as on-field coaches at the Minor League level: Rachel Balkovec (New York Yankees), Rachel Foldern (Chicago Cubs) and Christina Whitlock (St. Louis Cardinals).

The Miami Marlins hired Kim NG as their General Manager in November, making her the first female GM in the history of the four major North American men's sports.