It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 12 years since Jerry Smith was tabbed to be the athletic director at AWC-until you realize what an incredibly successful 12-year run Matador Athletics has enjoyed under his direction. Smith is easily the most tenured member of the AWC Athletic staff, having spent over 40 years in community college athletics as a coach and administrator. A native of Red Oak, Oklahoma, Smith stayed home to play basketball and earn his Associate's degree at Eastern Oklahoma State College before earning both his Bachelor of Science degree and Master's in Education degree from Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Smith then returned to Talihina to begin his coaching career in the high school ranks for two years. Smith then headed to Durant High School in Durant, Oklahoma, for four seasons as the head boys' varsity basketball coach before becoming the head baseball coach and assistant basketball coach at Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma for one season. From there, Smith spent the next three decades of his life in several different capacities at EOSC. He was the Mountaineers' men's head basketball coach for nine seasons over two different coaching stints. During that time, Smith's teams won two conference championships and were Region II Tournament runners-up three times. Smith was not only head basketball coach but also longtime athletic director, Alumni Association Director, Vice President of Student Services and the Director of Development during his three-decade tenure at EOSC. Smith was also one of the top officials in the area during that time, officiating high school and college football games, and was even the coordinator of officials for the Oklahoma Secondary School Activity Association in the Southeast part of Oklahoma. Jerry is also well-respected among NJCAA officials, having served as the NJCAA Division II National Baseball Committee Chairman. Since arriving at AWC, Smith has helped increase the awareness of the Matador Athletic Association several times over throughout the Yuma community. Smith served two years as the president of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference and Western States Football League and is always helping promote the conference and Arizona Western College. He also is in his 7th year as the Region I's Women's Director (after 4 years as an assistant) and is currently serving on the Executive Committee of the NJCAA.