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George Smith

Inducted 2005

George Smith‘s 28-year career as a head football coach has led to a 279-61 overall record and three state championships for St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.

Smith grew up in Lafayette, Ind., playing football for Lafayette Central Catholic until graduation in 1966. He also played college football for Butler University for two years before moving to Purdue University and pursuing a degree in physical education, which he obtained in 1971.

St. Thomas Aquinas hired Smith as a history teacher, assistant football and track & field coach, and head wrestling coach in 1972. As coach of the new wrestling program, he had an overall record of 86-30 over the next seven years, and was the Wrestling Coach of the Year in 1973-74 for the Miami Herald and twice for the South Atlantic Conference.

Smith became the head football coach in 1975 and quickly built the program into a powerhouse. Since then, the Raiders have won 19 district championships, had eight undefeated seasons, and recorded five state runner-up finishes and three state championships. Smith is a multiple winner of both the Miami Herald and the Sun-Sentinel Football Coach of the Year awards, and has coached many players who have excelled in college and professional sports, most notably former Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin. He was the first Florida football coach to register 250 wins with one school.

Smith also took on the role of athletic director in 1982. The St. Thomas Aquinas athletic program has won more than 50 state championships during his tenure, and has won its classification in the Dodge Sunshine Cup FHSAA Floyd E. Lay All-Sports Awards each year since it began in 1995. It has been the Miami Herald Athletic Program of the Year for more than 20 years, and in May 2005 was designated the third best high school athletic program in the nation by Sports Illustrated.

Smith is a member of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Broward County Sports Hall of Fame. He is a member of the American Football Coaches Association and has served on its high school and public relations committees. Smith is also a popular football clinic speaker across the country.