Stephen B. Smith, Chairman of the MTSU Board of Trustees, former Blue Raiders pitcher, and Championship Walking Horse rider and breeder, has been named a member of the 2023 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Class. Smith was surprised with the news Saturday evening prior to the MTSU Lady Raiders basketball game versus UAB. MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee, MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro, and Lady Raiders Coach and TSHF Inductee Rick Insell were all present for the announcement.
“Stephen Smith’s connection to Middle Tennessee covers the last six decades, from his time at Battle Ground Academy, to MTSU, to the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, Stephen was made an impact throughout his life,” said Brad Willis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. “To this day he continues to contribute his time and efforts to athletics, and we are thrilled to be able to honor him as part of our 2023 Class.”
Smith graduated from Battle Ground Academy as a three-sport letterman, before pitching for the MTSU Baseball team. He played an important role in the OVC Championship team in 1976 and overcame a life-threatening auto accident in 1977 to lead MTSU to a Western Division OVC Championship. Smith spent time as a scout with the St. Louis Cardinals, he was an original partner and board member of the Nashville Sounds, a board member of the Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association, and winner of the Association’s 2009 “Mr. Baseball” award. Smith spent time coaching youth baseball, and currently serves on the Williamson County Sports Authority and as a board member of Music City Baseball, an organization dedicated to bringing MLB to Nashville. Smith led the effort to construct the first lighted college baseball stadium in Tennessee, the current 3,000 seat stadium, and MTSU’s new baseball clubhouse which is named in his honor. Smith serves as the inaugural Chairman of the MTSU Board of Trustees. Smith has also been a lifelong horseman, winning 10 World Championships as a rider. He is a Master Breeder Award winner for Walking horses, and has bred, foaled, and raised eleven Tennessee Walking Horses that have won a combined 32 World Championships.
The full 2023 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class will be released over the coming weeks.
The 2023 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, presented by the Tennessee Titans, will be held Saturday, July 22nd at the Omni Nashville Downtown. Ticket information will be announced at a later date.
About the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame
Established in 1966, the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Tennessee Lottery, enshrines and honors athletes, teams, coaches, sports writers and sports administrators who have made an impact on the history of Tennessee sports. The Hall serves as a platform to connect athletes, coaches, sports fans, and supporters by acknowledging life achievements implemented through sports. The Hall celebrates athletes of all forms, from all across the state. Additionally, Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame aspires to educate youth about the importance of healthy habits and the positive impact they have on lifestyle choices. The Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame is located at 501 Broadway, Nashville, TN 37203. For more information, visit www.tshf.net.
About the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation
The Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation operates entirely from the revenue it generates through the sale of its products. Since January 20, 2004, the Lottery has raised more than $6 billion to fund designated education programs, including college grants, scholarships, Drive to 55 initiatives and after-school programs. In addition to the educational beneficiaries, players have won more than $16.5 billion in prizes and Lottery retailers have earned more than $1.5 billion in commissions. For additional information, visit tnlottery.com and follow the TEL on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.