In Cross Country Legacies
Apr 28, 2020
When you stepped off the bus at the American Legion Course / Smiley Invitational there was just something different from all of the other great cross country invitationals in our state. You could feel the tradition, marvel at the beautiful layout and ready yourself to compete against the vast numbers of teams that showed up year after year. I made a point of seeking out Coach Smiley and just checking in with him and thanking him for establishing such a great meet. He was a part of the WWII era "Greatest Generation" where hard work, loyalty and a real appreciation for life was the norm. When my father passed away last year, I rummaged through some of his old college keepsakes and found an old track meet program from the Beloit Relays - 1949. Lining up next to my dad in the mile run was Bill Smiley from Grinnell. What a coincidence! RIP Coach - you were a trailblazer and a true gem.