University of South Alabama Athletics Director Joe Gottfried and the Jaguar Athletic Club
want to memorialize Matt Smith, the USA sports information director who died Dec. 3, by
dedicating the media area in the new Stanky Field in his honor.
Smith was traveling with the USA men's basketball team in Starkville, Miss., when he died of
an apparent heart attack. He was 33 years old.
Gottfried described Smith as "a friend to everyone he met. His friendliness, his willingness
to go the extra mile, was noted by his fellow workers, his second family."
The Jaguar Athletic Club Board recently donated $2,500 to create a fund in his memory to
name the media area inside the press box at the new Stanky Field as Matt Smith Media Row.
"This was his home away from home, and we think it is a great way to honor Matt," Gottfried
said. "The halls of the Athletic Department were muted for days after his passing, but now
we choose to remember him the way he was - smiling and happy.".
The group is trying to raise $5,000 to permanently memorialize Smith and what he stood for
at the new stadium. To make a donation, contact the University Development Office at
460-7032. Or, mail contributions to the University Development Office in Health Service
Building, Room 2150, Mobile, Ala., 36688-0002.
Smith had been employed with USA’s athletic department for eight years, where he oversaw the
publicity for all 15 intercollegiate sports programs. A native of Spanish Fort, Smith graduated from Fairhope High School and attended Faulkner Community College, where he served as baseball manager and sports reporter.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports journalism from Southeastern Louisiana University