Stained glass window
Robert “Bob” W. Smith Collection: Biography
Robert J. Belue

Robert “Bob” Williams Smith was the son of Eugene W. and Hattie Griffin Smith of Cartersville, Georgia. Smith attended Furman University and graduated in 1934 with a B.S. in Economics. While Smith was at Furman he was a star halfback on the football squad, played third base and outfield on the baseball team and also lettered three years in Basketball. After graduation Smith was named Furman’s head basketball coach and backfield coach for football.

Smith entered the U.S. Navy in April 1942, and was connected with the Navy Physical Training Program, coaching teams at Jacksonville, Seattle and in Hawaii. Smith was discharged from the Navy in November, 1945 and returned to Furman, where he served as Head Coach and Athletic Director until 1947. Smith operated a baseball bat company for two years, then in 1950 joined the football coaching staff at Clemson Agricultural College, (Clemson University, 1964) and served as defensive line coach, head defensive coach, baseball coach, manager of athletic facilities, and assistant to the athletic director. After retiring in 1969, Smith managed Littlejohn Coliseum and continued improvement to Clemson athletic facilities.

Smith was married to another Furman graduate, Catherine Jordan Smith (Class of 1938), who was Clemson’s first female Mayor, as well as a former member of the Clemson City Council. The couple had three children.