In September of 2022, the Yellow Jacket community lost an alumni leader with the passing of Glover L. Smiley, Jr., Class of 1977. Smiley earned an Associate Degree in 1975 and a Bachelor of Science Degree from West Virginia State University in 1977. He began his career as an Administrator at West Virginia State University, then West Virginia State College, from 1977 until 1989. Smiley was responsible for starting the first Women’s Track & Field team in the history of the college. Smiley served in various capacities on campus including Director of Alumni Affairs, Intramural Director, Residence Hall Director, Head Men’s and Women’s Track Coach, Head Men’s and Women’s Cross Country Coach, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, and Assistant Football Coach. During his time at State, he coached 14 NAIA College Track All-Americans, three College National NAIA Champions in track & field, one All-American in Women’s Cross Country, and one NAIA Basketball Women All-American. He was named NAIA Men’s & Women’s Track Coach of the Year 6 times, NAIA District 28 Coach of the year 5 times, and WVIAC Track Coach of the Year 3 times.
Smiley was a Life Member of the WVSU National Alumni Association and served as the National Executive Secretary, a position he has held for 33 years. From the creation of the Life Membership Program, now with over 1,000 participants, to the development of the grand Homecoming program we know today, including the Class Reunion and Sports Hall of Fame programs, the establishment of various new alumni chapters and the establishment of the first Alumni Directory at State, Glover Smiley made an indelible mark on the history of the National Alumni Association and West Virginia State.
The Glover L. Smiley Jr. 110% Award, named in his honor in 1986, is awarded every two years at the National Alumni Conference. Smiley has been inducted into the West Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame as an athlete and coach; he is also a member of the National W-Club, South Carolina Cross Country & Track Coaches Association, USA Track Certified Master Track Official (31 years), member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; and founder of the Capital City Striders Track Club in Charleston, WV.
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