Ray Smith
Ray Smith
Title: 2006 Inductee (Basketball Coach 1964-1969)

Ray Smith was born on December 23, 1935 in Gober, Texas.  Smith was raised on a farm and ranch in his hometown were he excelled in a number of sports before graduating from Gober High School in 1954.  Following a two year stint at Frank Phillips Junior College, Ray transferred to Austin College.  While at Austin College he competed on the baseball, basketball, and track and field teams prior to graduating in May of 1958.  Smith’s coaching career began immediately as he accepted a one-year graduate assistant position while earning his Master’s degree at Austin College in Administration Education. 

Smith’s next stop in the state of Texas would be at Comanche High School.  He taught and coached there from 1959-1964.  His basketball teams won back-to-back district and bi-district championships from 1962-1963 through 1963-1964. 

The next stop for the Smith family was the University of Corpus Christi (UCC).  Ray wore numerous hats on campus from 1964 through 1969.  He was hired to lead the UCC Tarpon basketball team, but he also served stints as Athletic Director, Assistant Football Coach, Dean of Men, and he even found time to teach.  Smith was quickly recognized for his accomplishments when he was selected as District VIII Coach of the Year for the 1965-1966 season.  Smith was about team success, rather than personal success which is evident as the 1968-1969 Tarpon basketball team won the District VIII Championship and went on to compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Basketball Tournament in Kansas City, which he describes as the his most successful accomplishment at UCC.

After 5 years at UCC, Smith left to complete a year’s residency for his doctorate at the University of North Texas.  Upon graduation with his Ed. D, in 1970 he began a 12 year career at Wharton County Junior College.  Smith began his career as the Dean of Student Personnel where he was responsible for student activities, financial aid, recruiting, housing, and institutional research.  From 1977 through 1982 he served as Assistant to the President for Advanced Institutional Development.  In this capacity, Smith designed a college planning and evaluation system, expanded the development office with emphasis on securing state and federal grants, and assisted in the automation of the business office as well as student registration and records. 

Smith’s career progression lead him to a position as Superintendent of Schools for the Bells Independent School District in Bells, Texas from 1982-1986.  Grayson County Community College was the final stop in Smith’s professional career in education.  He served as the Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Grayson County College Foundation where he was responsible for planning and initiating the development office prior to his retirement in 1995.

Smith has been involved in numerous professional associations including the American Association of Junior and Community Colleges, the National Council for Resource Development, Texas Junior College Teachers Association, Texas Association of School Administrators, and the American Management Association.
The Smith family has been very active in every community they served.  Ray served the El Campo and Wharton Association for the Mentally Retarded as well as the Houston/Galveston Health Board.  He has coached little league baseball and been a dedicated Lions Club member.  Additionally, he has served as a Bible study teacher at numerous churches since 1971, while serving in a variety of church leadership positions such as Deacon, chairman of the pastor search committee, chairman of the budget and finance committee, and numerous activities with church youth.
The Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Athletic Hall of Honor is the second collegiate Hall of Honor award for Smith.  He was inducted into the Austin College Hall of Honor in 1986.  Smith has been married to his wife Norita, a retired school teacher and alumnus of UCC, for 52 years and has two sons, C. Ray Smith Jr. and Michael W. Smith.