Dave Smith, assistant director of athletics for communications at Virginia Tech, was recently honored by the Virginia Sports Information Directors Distinguished Service Award at VaSID’s annual meeting held earlier this month at Randolph-Macon College.

The award is given to individuals who have promoted college athletics and the concept of the student-athlete and who have been a part of the athletic community as a coach, administrator, or member of the media for a minimum of 20 years.

In addition to Smith, the University of Virginia’s Rich Murray received the honor this year.

“VaSID couldn’t be more pleased than to recognize two of the stars and true gentlemen of our profession in Rich Murray and Dave Smith,” said VaSID President Kevin Warner of James Madison University. “They have made an immeasurable impact upon their institutional coworkers, their state and conference colleagues, and various media representatives. This award is a testament to their selfless service and dedication.”

Smith is starting his 39th year with the athletics department and his 21st full-time season with the football team. He has been involved with the football team in each of his 38 years at the university, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the athletic communications office. Smith graduated from Virginia Tech in 1970 with a degree in English.

One of the longest-tenured employees in the athletics department, Smith came to Virginia Tech in 1975. Early on, he worked with the men’s basketball program and he also was the main contact for the baseball program, a role that he assumed for more than 30 years.

He became the primary contact for the football program in 1998, and was promoted to sports information director. He later was promoted to the role of assistant athletic director for communications.

A native of Roanoke, Smith also serves as the liaison to the Virginia Tech Sports Hall of Fame committee. In addition to his other duties, he is the department’s de facto historian. Many authors have written articles and books about various players, coaches, and aspects of Virginia Tech athletics and Smith’s expertise has been invaluable in helping those authors with their work.

Smith began his career in the newspaper business, covering the sports scene in Franklin County, Va., for the Franklin News-Post. He covered all sorts of sporting events, including local stock car races at Franklin County Speedway. He later accepted a position as the sports information director at Ferrum College, becoming the first to hold that position at the college. From there, he returned to Blacksburg to begin his career in athletic communications.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

Information for this story was provided by Virginia Sports Information Directors.