Former Hope College athletic director and football coach Ray Smith was inducted with the 2017 Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame class on Tuesday as the recipient of the Warren Reynolds Lifetime Achievement award.
The award honors former longtime WOOD TV sports director Warren Reynolds, who died 17 years ago after a brave battle with cancer.
Smith coached Hope football for a quarter of a century (1970-94). When he retired, he was the winningest football coach in the history of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and his 25-year tenure was the longest of any football coach in America's oldest college athletic conference.
A member of the Hope faculty until 2009, he mentored hundreds of Hope students through his work both in the classroom and on the athletic field. His football teams earned an overall record of 148-69-9, including nine MIAA championships. In 1984 he was named the NCAA Division III Co-Coach of the Year. At the time of his retirement as football coach in 1994, he was the eighth-winningest coach in NCAA Division III history.
During his tenure, Smith also served as golf coach, wrestling coach and assistant baseball coach. He was the director of athletics from 1980-2009. During that time, Hope won 24 MIAA All-Sports awards.
Hope College named its football stadium after Smith and his wife, Sue, in 2013, after purchasing Holland Municipal Stadium from the city of Holland.
Smith was a football All-American at UCLA, playing at both fullback and defensive back. He was captain and most valuable player of the Bruins his senior year.