George Smith
George Smith

Position:
Football, 1935; Coach, Athletics Director

Inducted:
1978


George Smith

  • Four-year letterwinner in football as a rugged tackle.
  • Earned All-Ohio honors as a junior.
  • Credited with wearing a fore-runner of the modern face mask when he donned a device to help protect his broken nose.
  • Returned to UC as assistant football coach in 1948.
  • Asked to coach the freshmen basketball team in 1948 and became a varsity assistant.
  • Named head basketball coach in 1952, beginning an eight-year tenure in which he compiled a 154-56 record (.733).
  • His UC basketball teams won three Missouri Valley Conference titles and made five postseason tournament appearances.
  • Directed UC to the NCAA Final Four in 1959 and 1960.
  • Recruited and coached Oscar Robertson, three-time national scoring champion and consensus national Player of the Year.
  • Became athletics director following the 1959-60 season, where he oversaw continued success of UC basketball--national titles in 1961 and 1962--plus growth of the Bearcat sports program.
  • Became Assistant Vice President for Development in 1973 and made major inroads in UC's success to increase its financial base.
  • UC Athletic Hall of Fame 1978.