Ron Smith, right, receives a game ball from an AHSAA representative after coaching the state championship match at the Birmingham Crossplex in October 2013. | Wade Event Photography
Ron Smith, right, receives a game ball from an AHSAA representative after coaching
the state championship match at the Birmingham Crossplex in October 2013. | Wade Event Photography

Archived Story

Smith selected for Making a Difference Award

Published 4:38pm Monday, June 2, 2014

Brewer’s Ron Smith was among six individuals who were selected as the 2014 Making A Difference Award recipients by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).

One recipient from each of the AHSAA’s six classifications was chosen from nominations submitted by AHSAA member schools and other support organizations.

This year’s recipients are Jerome Sanders, J.F. Shields (1A); Amy Warrick, Goshen (2A); Steve Smith, Piedmont (3A); Rusty Bates, Ardmore (4A); Ron Smith, Brewer (5A); and Robby Parker (6A).

The six will be recognized at the Championship Coaches Banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Convention Center July 25. The 6 p.m. event will close out the 2014 Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week for member schools. The Officials’ Awards luncheon the following day at the Renaissance at 11:30 a.m. will officially close out the week.
Ron Smith, who is the head volleyball coach and assistant girls basketball coach, is described by his principal, Jeremy Childers, as “like a second father to the girls on his teams.”

Over the years, several of the girls have been without dads or adult male role models in their households and Coach Smith has stepped in and given them a Godly role model for them to look up to on and off the court,” Childers told the AHSAA.

Students point out that Smith constantly goes the extra mile in assisting them in landing college scholarships and other financial assistance for college. He meets with college recruiters and writes countless letters of recommendation.
The successes shown by girls on the court can be directly attributed to his leadership (three straight state volleyball tournament appearances and four straight basketball state tournament appearances).
Some of his players wrote the following comments.

“Coach Smith has pushed me to my limits and encouraged me to surpass them. All of our teams would not have been able to accomplish all we did without Coach Smith being right there with us. Just knowing someone believes, loves and supports you can make a world a difference in your life. We know because Coach Smith gave us that.”

The Making A Difference Award was established in 2011 by the AHSAA and AHSADCA to recognize individuals who go beyond their normal duties as a coach, teacher or administrator to make a positive impact in their schools and communities. This year’s recipients include one principal, one full-time athletic director, a head football coach, head boys’ basketball coach, head volleyball coach and head softball coach.

“The recipients in this fourth Making A Difference class are tremendous role models for their students, faculty and community. They are indeed excellent examples of what this award stands for. Each has made a major difference in their communities and schools,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese.  “This award is the most important honor a professional educator in our state can receive.

“Characteristics considered for this prestigious award include the recipient’s character, integrity and service, all of which have enabled these individuals to have a life-changing impact on the community or school.”

Savarese said this special award exemplifies what makes education-based sports so important.

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