From The AD’s Office: Joel Smith Chadron State College

MANY NEBRASKANS KNOW CHADRON STATE AS THE ALMA MATER OF TWO POPULAR NFL PLAYERS OF THE LAST GENERATION DON BEEBE AND DANNY WOODHEAD. HOW MUCH HAVE THEY MEANT TO THE PROGRAM LONG AFTER THEY PLAYED THEIR LAST GAME THERE?

Both Don and Danny have been the national face of Chadron State Athletics. They both continue to support the college and have been integral in our effort to provide resources for our student athletes. They are also good men which reflects well on our program.

BEFORE COMING TO CSC, YOU WERE COMMISSIONER OF THE ROCKY MOUTAIN ATHLETIC CONFERNCE, A RESPECTED DII LEAGUE. WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO CHADRON FROM THE RMAC?

This is my 33rd year in athletics and I have had a diverse career. I spent 12 years as the commissioner and enjoyed that experience. However, I missed the day to day interactions with students that you get as an athletic director.

I had built a great working relationship with the president at Chadron and when Brad Smith retired Dr. Rhine asked me to consider replacing him. I was excited to return to a campus and took the position.

YOU HAVE BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE NCAA DIVISION II ATHLETIC DIRECTOR'S ASSOCIATION. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE DII ATHLETICS FACES?

The most visible is our efforts to continue to operate in a Covid 19 world. We all are involved making it safe for our athletes to compete.

Outside of that the challenges of raising resources for the program is a constant. A new issue is engaging our athletes and community in discussions about inclusion and social justice.

CSC LAUCHED AN INITIATIVE SEVERAL YEARS AGO TO UPGRADE FACILITIES. YOU HAVE COMPLETED BOTH PHASES OF THE PROJECT, WHAT'S NEXT?

Well, we have in essence fixed, replaced, or created all of our athletic facilities. Now we have some of the best facilities in the RMAC. We need to do some more upgrade work in our locker rooms and with our indoor facility but right now we are proud of what we have.

YOU LIST THE GUITAR AS A HOBBY? HOW GOOD ARE YOU? WHO IS YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE?

Not as good as I once was. I do get to play a little now and then. I’m a little eclectic so I’ve been influenced by everyone from John Denver to James Taylor to Nat King Cole.

THE NEBRASKA GREATS FOUNDATION HAS YET TO SERVE A FORMER CHADRON STATE EAGLE IN NEED. HOW CAN WE GET THE WORD OUT TO ALL OF THE FORMER LETTER WINNERS OF CSC WHO EITHER MAY BE IN NEED OR KNOW OF A FORMER TEAMMATE WHO MAY NEED THE HELP THE NGF PROVIDES?

We continue to share the story of Nebraska Greats Foundation with our alumni. It may be a blessing that we have not had anyone of need yet. We are glad to be involved and know that Nebraska Greats will be there if we have someone of need.

Posted in Athletic Directors, Chadron State, NGF Schools and Universities.