Among the winningest coaches in college basketball history, Tom Smith both played and coached at Valparaiso University, and on Saturday, February 4, he will be inducted into the Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame.
During his playing days he was an Associated Press Honorable Mention Little All-American in 1966, the same season he was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. The captain of the 1965-1966 squad, Smith helped guide the Crusaders to the NCAA Midwest Regional tournament under coach Gene Bartow.
He took over the Valpo program as the head coach in 1980 before moving on to Missouri Western State University in 1988, where he has coached ever since. Smith has led the Griffons to five Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association championships, 11 NCAA Division II national tournament appearances, and won his 600th collegiate game on Nov. 13, 2010.
He is the winningest coach both in Missouri Western and MIAA history. Smith has previously been elected to both the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame as well as the Missouri Western State University Hall of Fame.
The Valparaiso University Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4 in the Community Room of the Christopher Center on campus. The banquet is slated to begin at 3:30 p.m. The inductees will also be honored at halftime of the men’s basketball game against Wright State that same evening which tips off at 7:05 p.m.