Bob Smith is calling it quits after 41 years as a head wrestling coach and eight with Fort Hays State University. Smith will retire at the end of the season, but will stay on until December to help the team with the transition. Under the direction of coach Smith, the Tigers have continiued to grow with success and development to become a national power. In the last three years the Black and Gold have finished 10th, 12th and 11th at the NCAA II Championships. In 1998-99, the Tigers once again showed their growth and success with an 11th place finish at the NCAA II Championships. Keith Blaske finished with his second straight All-American honor while Trevell Smittick gained his first All-American honor. Blaske had his highest finish as a Tiger placing fourth. The 1997-98 season ended with two All-Americans and a twelfth place finish at the NCAA II Championships while in 1996-97 FHSU ended with three All-Americans and a tenth place finish. Coach Smith's teams have produced eleven All-Americans and three Academic All-Americans. The Tigers have had at least one wrestler qualify for the NCAA II Championships every season since Smith took over the program.
FHSU teams have earned national rankings as one of the nation's top academic squads four straight years, 1996-97 ranked 10th , 1997-98 ranked 11th, 1997-98 ranked 14th and 1998-99 ranked ninth. Smith continues to build the Black & Gold wrestling program and annually produces top athletes that continue to compete in the NCAA II Championships.
Smith took over as Tiger head coach after a 33-year coaching stint at Wray High School, Wray, Colo. During his tenure at Wray HS Smith's teams compiled a 337-73-9 record on the way to winning 10 Colorado State Championships. Smith's teams won titles in 1960, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1975, 1984, 1985 and 1988. In 1983 he became the Director of Athletics for the eastern Colorado high school. He was named Colorado wrestling Coach of the Year eight times and in 1984 was inducted into the National High School Coaches Association Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 1997 he was named RMAC Coach of the Year and last year was inducted into the Colorado Activities Association Hall of Fame.
Smith earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Northern Colorado. Bob and his wife Marilyn have two children, a son Shaun/wife Lisa, and a daughter Marti Crouse/husband Kent and son Christopher.
Tiger All-Americans During Coach Smith's Tenure
1994 Ben Loggains 134 Pounds 7th
2x Academic All-American
1995 Josh Gooch Heavyweight 7th
1996 Eddie Woody 150 pounds 7th
1997 Josh Gooch Heavyweight 3rd
Myron Ellegood 158 pounds 4th
Eddie Woody 150 pounds 5th
1998 Myron Ellegood 167 pounds 2nd
Keith Blaske Heavyweight 5th
1999 Keith Blaske Heavyweight 4th
Tony Pelnar 141 pounds 6th
Trevell Smittick 197 pounds 6th