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COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The list of Randy Smith’s
contributions to Tennessee Tech Athletics includes a successful
playing career, an award-winning career as Golden Eagle tennis
coach in which he influenced the lives of scores of young men and
women who played on his teams, and several years as an
administrator who influenced the direction of the department.
His association with the University began as a student-athlete in the 1960s and stretched for four decades until his retirement in 2006.
Smith is one of four people who will be inducted at the annual Hall of Fame Dinner, scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2, in the Multipurpose Room of the Roaden University Center. The induction dinner is part of Homecoming festivities. Tickets for the dinner, or the Saturday afternoon game against Eastern Illinois, can be purchased through the Athletics Ticket Office in Eblen Center or by calling (931) 372-3940.
His stellar coaching career includes four Ohio Valley Conference Tennis Coach of the Year honors, two with the men’s team and two with the women’s team. His list of responsibilities as an administrator continued to grow during his 11 years. At his retirement, he was Associate Athletics Director for Operations, Facilities and Capital Projects.
In addition to his service to Tennessee Tech, Smith was also an ambassador for the OVC, representing the league and institution as a member of the NCAA Tennis Committee. In 2005, he was named to lead the NCAA Tennis Championship Selection Committee.
Smith headed the TTU men’s and women’s tennis programs for 13 seasons, before retiring as coach in 2001. In 2006, he returned to the courts when he was appointed interim head coach.
During his 14 combined seasons as Director of Tennis, Smith lifted the Tech tennis programs into being annual contenders for Ohio Valley Conference championship and national recognition. He was one of the most recognized and well-respected tennis coaches in Ohio Valley Conference history, earning regional and national positions including a stint as member of the NCAA Tennis Committee.
A 1970 Tech graduate, Smith returned to his alma mater in 1988 and immediately led the Golden Eagle men’s team to a 20-6 dual match record, a 5-1 mark in the OVC, and second place in the conference tournament. He was named OVC Coach of the Year in his first season, an honor he repeated the following season when Tech posted a 20-3 record in 1989-90. That team rolled to a perfect conference record at 6-0 and captured the OVC tournament championship.
That 1990 team not only captured the OVC tournament title, it also earned the school’s first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tennis Tournament.
In all, the Tech men’s team compiled a 191-141 record, including a 74-25 record in conference matches. In his final season, the team won another OVC regular season title with a 9-0 record and advanced to NCAA Tournament for the third time.