Fred Smith Named WHAC AD of the Year

Longtime Siena Heights Athletic Director Headed Fundraising, Branding Efforts for Saints
Siena Heights University Athletic Director Fred Smith was named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year for 2008-09. The honor is voted upon annually by all conference athletic directors. fred smith.jpg

Smith has been AD for the Saints since 1983 and oversees a department of 27 coaches and staff. It is the second time Smith has won the award, first earning the honor during the 2000-01 academic year.

He is now eligible for the national Athletic Director of the Year award chosen by the NAIA.

This past year, Smith guided a massive fundraising effort to improve campus athletic facilities. Improvements included a complete renovation of existing lockerrooms, improved drainage for softball dugouts, new storage cages in the fieldhouse and a new ice machine for the athletic training room. In addition to these improvements, Smith also oversaw fundraising for the school's annual Hall of Fame banquet.

Along with facility improvements, branding has been a major focus for Smith this year. Smith was also part of a process that developed a new logo and new mascot - Halo - that represents all of the Saints' athletic programs. He also gave approval for a new athletics web site.

Smith introduced two new sports and full-time coaches for each sport. Men's volleyball and men's lacrosse participated as club teams. Both will become full varsity programs in fall 2009.

Smith encourages his staff to be involved with their respective sports. Four Saint coaches currently serve as officers on their respective coaches association boards while two serve as national raters. Three of Smith's head coaches were selected to serve on national championship committees this past year.

Smith has always put high expectations on student-athletes. Nearly 41 percent of SHU's student population comprised the school's 16 intercollegiate sports teams. The 2008-09 academic year had 31 Saint student-athletes recognized as WHAC All-Academic and 19 were named Daktronics/NAIA All-America Scholar-Athletes. Six individuals were awarded All-American status and three teams were honored as NAIA Scholar Teams.

At the national level, Smith is an active member of National Association of College Athletic Directors (NACDA) and NAIA Athletic Directors Association. He serves on the national oversight committee for men's basketball. Regionally, he was an integral part of the selection committee for a new WHAC commissioner. Smith has also served on SHU's planning and presidential search committees.

Smith was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2006 as a coach for men's basketball. He was named WHAC Coach of the Year on four occasions and garnered District Coach of the Year honors three times.

Because of his generous nature and ability to lead, Siena Heights originated a Fred Smith Champion Award in 2004 to honor an SHU employee who has a friendly and caring attitude, the ability to shoulder responsibility and achieve success.

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