Hope College men's athletic director Ray Smith was among the honorees at the 1999 West Michigan Sports Awards banquet held Monday, March 1 at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids.
Smith was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award during the event which benefits the March of Dimes. Similar sports awards events were held in Detroit and Indianapolis.
Other honorees included Floyd Mayweather, Jr., WBC Super
Featherwight champion, Pro Sports Achievement Award; Kristin Koetsier of
Grandville High School and Miss Michigan Basketball, High School Athlete of
the Year; Jeff Fox of Holland, Grand Valley State University football
quarterback, College Athlete of the Year; Georgetown Little League team which
competed in the Little League World Series, Team of the Year; Butch Briggs,
East Grand Rapids swimming coach, Coach of the Year; Jim Dreyer, swimmer who
crossed Lake Michigan to benefit Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Community Service
Cuonzo Martin, Grand Rapids Hoop of the Year; Craig Johnson, Whitecap of the
Year; Ian Gordon, Griffin of the Year; and Matt Potter, Rampage of the Year.
Smith became the winningest coach in the history of Michigan
Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) football during his 25 years at
the helm of the Flying Dutchmen from 1970 until his retirement from coaching
after the 1994 season.
He coached his teams to a record nine MIAA football championships with a
conference record of 91-28-6. His 25-season overall record was 148-69-9. His
winning percentage (.682) ranked him among the winningest active NCAA Division
In 1984 he was named Co-Coach of the Year in NCAA Division III by the
Football News after his Flying Dutchmen posted a 9-0-0 record. His 1986 team
advanced to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Smith came to Hope College from Antelope Valley College in California
where he had been head football and baseball coach.
In college he was a standout fullback at UCLA, playing three years on
the varsity. As a player in the "two-way" era, he also saw action as a
defensive halfback. His senior year he captained the Pacific 8 champs, was
named UCLA's Athlete-of-the-Year, the football team's most valuable player and
was an honorable mention All-American selection. He participated in the Hula
Bowl and East-West Shrine game.
One of 20 students to receive an Outstanding Graduating Senior Award for
academic accomplishment, Smith went on to earn his M.A. administrative degree
from Pasadena College and a M.A. degree in physical education from Western
Smith spent three seasons playing for the Saskatchewan Rough-Riders of
the Canadian Football League before retiring because of an injury.
At Hope he has also been golf coach, wrestling coach and assistant
baseball coach. He holds the academic rank of Professor of Physical Education
and has been Director of Athletics for Men since 1980. He serves on the NCAA
Division III Football Advisory Committee which determines the teams to compete
in the football playoffs.
He also coordinates the church relations program for Hope College and is
active at Christ Memorial Church in Holland.
He and his wife Sue have three children: Randy, a 1985 Hope graduate;
Jeff, a 1988 Hope graduate; and Jennifer, a junior at Hope College.
The keynote speaker will be Steve Garvey, nine time all-star first
baseman for the L.A. Dodgers and San Diego Padres.