Smith Named New Head Athletic Trainer
July 3, 2012
NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin Director of Athletics Robert Hill announced on Tuesday Jeff Smith has been hired as the Head Athletic Trainer.
Smith will spend his first month of employment in a transition period working along side current head trainer Sandy Miller, who will be retiring in August after 31 years of service as the Assistant Director of Sports Medicine at SFA.
"Jeff brings a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge to SFA, which is something that was very important especially since we we're replacing a legend in Sandy Miller," Hill said. "Jeff also has prior experience in the Southland Conference which will help in his transition here. His personality and professional abilities are outstanding. We are excited to have him here."
"I told Jeff that we didn't want another Sandy Miller," Hill said. "There won't be another Sandy Miller. Instead, I told him to put his own stamp on our athletics' training program that will always put the student-athlete first. In our talks together I am more than confident that Jeff is the perfect choice."
Smith was most recently the primary athletic trainer for the Northwest Missouri State football team, where he spent three years with the Bearcats. During his time at Northwest Missouri, the Bearcats won the 2009 NCAA Division II Football National Championship.
A native of Mexico, Mo., and Northwest alumnus, Smith returned to Northwest after serving six years as Associate Athletic Director/Head Athletic Trainer at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La., where he was responsible for all medical needs of Nicholls' 16 Division I Sports. His primary responsibility was traveling with the football and men's basketball programs. He was also an instructor within the Nicholls State University's accredited Athletic Training Educational Curriculum Program.
Prior to Nicholls State, Smith served as an Athletic Trainer with the Barcelona Dragons of the National Football League in Europe for one season and spent the 2002 NFL season as a member of the athletic training staff of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.
Prior to his time in the NFL, Smith was a graduate assistant at Louisiana State University, where he worked with the football and track and field squads. Smith was part of three track and field national championships and a Sugar Bowl and SEC football championship. In addition, he was selected as the medical coordinator for the 2002 NCAA Track and Field Championship meet hosted by LSU.
While attending Northwest as an undergraduate, Smith worked with the 1998 and 1999 Division II NCAA championship football teams, basketball, track and field, volleyball and tennis teams. He also served as an intern with the Kansas City Chiefs during this time.
Smith received his bachelor's degree in physical and health education from Northwest in 2000 along with his ATC certification. He earned his master's in kinesiology from LSU in 2002.
Since 2005, Smith has been the Head Athletic Trainer for the Manning Passing Academy. This camp, performed in Thibodaux, La., is the premier offensive skills camp in the nation. This camp has about 1,500 campers across the nation and is hosted by Archie, Peyton, Eli, and Cooper Manning.
In 2010, Smith married the former Tori Priddy.