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Harry "Doc" Smith

Literally thousands of Akron area athletes were administered to during the years of 1926 to 1953 by Harry A. Smith, better known as "Doc." He was a teacher, coach, trainer, philosopher and poet. A builder of men. A native of North Platte, Nebraska, Smith attended the American College for the purpose of becoming a physician. However, an attack of typhoid fever ended the effort but, his venture earned him the affectionate nickname of "Doc" which has endured the test of time. "Doc" came to The University of Akron in 1926 to help coach under Howard "Red" Blair and then joined the faculty in 1928. He served as a trainer under James Aiken in the late 1930's, coached track and after a respite due to World War II, was brought back into the training room by Athletic Director Kenneth "Red" Cochrane in 1948. Smith played no favorites in the training room, treating friend or foe and either college or high school athletes. In 1951 Kent State halfback Dick Pitts was among the lame who showed up at "Doc's" door. In the UA-KSU football game a couple weeks later, Smith's magic was put to the test and Pitts responded by gaining 190 yard and scored on a 74-yard dash while thumping the Zips, 48-7. "Doc" treated over 250 high school athletes. That kind of activity isn't permitted any longer by edit of the NCAA. "Doc" retired from UA in June 1953, because of ill health that eventually caused his death on October 3, the annual presentation of the Harry "Doc" Smith Awards, given to the outstanding Zip football player in each class. In 1991, Smith was inducted into the UA's Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted 1992 | Administrator