CMU Baseball's Fred Smith Wins HAAC Coach of Character Award
KANSAS CITY -- Central Methodist University baseball coach Fred Smith was recognized with the 2012 Heart of America Athletic Conference Champions of Character Coach of Character Award.
The Coach of Character Award is an annual title given to a head coach of a NAIA institution. The nominee must be employed by the institution a minimum of five years and must be clearly outstanding in embracing the five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character initiative, methods of teaching character through sport, and community leadership through volunteering, service and other means.
"I am honored to receive such an important award," said Smith, a 1985 graduate of Central Methodist who came to the university following 18 seasons coaching at Boonville High School. "I feel that the five core values of the Champions of Character are the foundation of our institution. I have also made them the cornerstone of our baseball program."
Smith completed his fifth season with the Eagles in 2012 and 24th overall as a coach. Last season, he led Central Methodist to the championship game of the HAAC Tournament and compiled a record of 25-22-1. His squad was also recognized off the field as the NAIA Buffalo Funds Five Star Champions of Character Baseball Team of the Year, while Smith was named the Conference Coach of the Year for Central Methodist, an award he also won in 2008.
"Fred is a person that always listens to the student's needs, offers assistance and encourages students be in engaged in community service projects," Ken Oliver, Vice President of Institutional Growth and Student Engagement as well as Director of Athletics at Central Methodist, said. "Any athletic department in the country would be very fortunate to have Fred on their staff."
The list of off-the-field projects that Smith has been involved in includes the Boonville Correction Ministry, collecting gifts for Angel Tree, organizing Food Pantry projects, working with the Columbia Boys and Girls Club, offering free baseball clinics and leading various clean-up efforts in the community.