Gordon Smith

Gordon Smith – Inducted 2001

A rival high school football coach once joked that if Gord Smith happened upon a traffic jam in downtown Belleville, he would pull out his whistle and get things moving again. And why not? Gordon Aubrey Smith is one of the most highly regarded referees in Canadian university football history. For four decades – from the 1960s to the ’90s – Smith was a familiar face at Canadian university football games, whistle clenched between his teeth, eyes peeled for infractions. On five occasions Smith was selected to officiate the Canadian university finals – the Vanier Cup. And while travelling to university venues occupied most of his autumn weekends, Smith was equally successful as an educator, coach and referee in the Quinte area. A high school teaching career that began in Stirling in 1963, concluded 32 years later with Smith having coached various Bay of Quinte basketball and football teams to regional championships more than 20 times mostly at Moira and Centennial Secondary School. Smith refereed high school basketball for 41 years, including four OFSAA (Ontario Federation Secondary School Athletic Association) championship tournaments, and sat on the Canadian Amateur Football Association (CAFA) rules committee for 25 years. Smith’s excellence in the classroom and on the playing field was recognized by his peers in the provincial teaching fraternity in 1996 when he received the Pete Beach Award. When OFSAA officials presented Smith with the coveted Beach Award, the accompanying citation encapsulated the indelible impression Smith has left on the Quinte area: “It is a rare educator who has the capacity to utilize the medium of school sport in such a way as to positively and sufficiently influence students in the remainder of their lives. That educator is one who consistently provides an impression of stability and optimism; one who enjoys the company and the respect of young people; one who embodies and inoculates by example the highest traditions of the sportsperson; one who best typifies the true function of the teacher-coach – a source of discipline, a mentor and a friend.” Gord Smith was that rare educator.

2001, builder, football, individual,

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