Hampton Lee Smith (October 1, 1934 – October 2, 2023) was an esteemed American coach known for his contributions to both football and baseball. His coaching career spanned several decades and left a lasting impact on the sports community.
Hampton Lee Smith began his coaching journey in the realm of high school football. He dedicated his time and expertise to shaping young athletes at McComb High School and Prentiss High School, both located in Mississippi. His commitment to nurturing talent and instilling discipline marked the early stages of a remarkable coaching career.
Smith recognized the importance of education and its role in developing well-rounded athletes. He pursued his academic journey, graduating from Mississippi Vocational College (now known as Mississippi Valley State University). Building on this foundation, he furthered his education by earning a master’s degree from Tennessee State University.
Albany State University
Hampton Lee Smith’s coaching career reached its zenith during his tenure at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia. He served as the head football coach at Albany State in two separate stints, showcasing his leadership and football acumen.
- First Stint (1971-1976): Smith’s initial stint as head football coach at Albany State laid the groundwork for his legacy. His leadership and coaching prowess helped mold the team and set the stage for future success.
- Second Stint (1982-1999): Smith’s return to Albany State was marked by continued success. During this period, he solidified his reputation as a top-tier football coach, and his impact extended beyond the field.
In addition to his achievements in football, Smith also took on the role of head baseball coach at Albany State from 1981 to 1983. His time as a baseball coach showcased his versatility and ability to excel in multiple sports. Smith’s dedication to coaching baseball further enriched the athletic culture at Albany State.
Hampton Lee Smith’s coaching legacy is defined by his unwavering commitment to his athletes’ development, both as players and individuals. His influence extended far beyond the wins and losses, as he instilled values of discipline, teamwork, and sportsmanship in those he coached.
On October 2, 2023, the sports world mourned the loss of Hampton Lee Smith, who passed away one day after celebrating his 89th birthday. While he may no longer be with us, his impact on the world of sports and the lives of countless athletes will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.