March 4, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 80  

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Dan Smith to leave role as Western’s SRS Director

By Aron Yeomanson
Gazette Staff

Beth Kerim/Gazette
“BACK IN THE DAY, THEY CALLED ME ‘SMITTY’.” Western loses a real gem in diamond-in-the-rough SRS director Dan Smith. Is a future career in firearms sales at Smith & Wesson in the cards? Or maybe a stint at Smith Books? Only time will tell.

Western sports suffered a significant loss on Tuesday, but it didn’t take place on a rink, court or field.

Dan Smith, the university’s director of Sports and Recreation Services since 2001, announced his intention to step down effective June 1 of this year.

Smith, who holds an Honors BA and MA in Physical Education from Western, has experienced the Canadian sporting world from many perspectives. He played on the Western Mustangs’ men’s hockey team from 1972 to 1976 before being hired by the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association as Assistant Technical Director in 1978.

From there, Smith went on to hold several positions with Sport Canada from 1985 to 2001, when he came to Western on a three-year contract under the Government of Canada’s Interchange program.

“Coming back as an alumnus, I was very excited about making a contribution to one of the best intercollegiate athletics and recreation programs in the country,” Smith said.

Over the past three years Smith has been responsible for overseeing activities ranging from aquatics to intramural sports to varsity athletics, while managing to overcome a tight budget in the process.

“We had a tough financial situation coming in,” Smith noted. “But through fundraising and other strategies we’ve been able to put Sports and Recreation on a strong foundation.”

After three years Smith has a lot to be proud of.

“Mostly, I’m really happy with all of the relationships I’ve been able to develop with students, athletes, coaches and staff,” he said. “I feel we were able to make people more aware of the importance of athletics to the university.”

Upon leaving in June, Smith will return to a position in the federal civil service in Ottawa. Citing “personal reasons” as the main factor in his decision to step down, Smith will be missed by the Western athletic community.

“Western has a long tradition of excellence in sports and recreation,” said Western President Paul Davenport in a press release. “During his time with us, Dan has reinforced and built on this proud tradition and Western is very much in his debt. We are sorry to see him leave.”

“Dan has been very easy to work with,” said Western football coach Larry Haylor. “He listens, hears and tries very hard to meet the demands of coaches and has done a tremendous job at dealing with a very big mandate.”

Presumably, the university will now look to find a suitable replacement to fill the vacant position.

“The main concern of the coaches is that this position is filled by someone who is a strong advocate for sport,” Haylor said. “We need someone who is always making an argument for advancing sports.”

Smith’s efforts in improving Sports and Recreation at Western will no doubt be missed, and he expressed some reservations of his own about his departure.

“I will miss the pride and spirit at Western,” Smith said. “Most of all, I’ll miss the people I’ve had the privilege of working with during the last three years.”



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