Men's Soccer Set to Host Tommy Smith Alumni Weekend
Nov. 4, 2009
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Tommy Smith Alumni Weekend at the University of Memphis will kickoff on Fri., Nov. 6 with the 10th annual Tommy Smith Banquet, which will take place at 7 p.m., at the Billy J. Murphy Athletic Campus on Memphis' Park Avenue Campus. The banquet will feature keynote speaker Joey Lewis, a graduate of the Memphis men's soccer program who competed for Memphis from 1995-99.
"The Tommy Smith Banquet is always a great night for our program" said Memphis head coach Richie Grant. "We've had some great recipients of the award in the past and I'm very pleased that we have Joey Lewis as our speaker for the event. I always appreciate the message being delivered from someone that has played with Tommy (Smith) and knew what he stood for as a soccer player and as a man. It has been really nice to see Joey (Lewis) stay so involved in the program."
The Tommy Smith Award has been presented for the past nine years to the U of M men's soccer player who best exemplifies high academic standards, dedication, love of the game and sportsmanship, all characteristics that defined Smith during his time with us.
"Tommy was always a proper sportsman and he believed in the importance of teamwork," Grant said. "He was a very energetic and passionate person who made a lasting contribution on this program. When we talk over the people we think are deserving of the award, we always look for the person who best meets the qualities that Tommy Smith had."
Smith was a member of the men's soccer program at the U of M from 1992-95. He passed away suddenly on March 18, 2000. Smith played in 77 games for the Blue and Gray and scored 15 goals and racked up 11 assists for a total of 41 points in his career.
Nick Glaser, the current assistant men's soccer coach, was the award's first recipient during the 2000 season. Glaser is currently in his third year as an assistant coach after playing for the Tigers from 1997-00. Since then the award has been given to eight other recipients including last year's recipient Thomas Hyland, a four-year defensive player for the Tigers who is currently playing professionally for Shamrock Rovers in the League of Ireland.
"It's definitely an honor to have received the Tommy Smith award," Glaser said. "The person that Tommy was, he just epitomized what we try to look for when we bring guys into this program. Tommy loved life and he loved playing the game of soccer. To be mentioned in the same breath as him is an honor. The person who wins the award this year will definitely be someone that has the same qualities and characteristics as Tommy."
Tommy Smith Alumni Weekend will conclude with an alumni match pitting alumni vs. alumni on Sat., Nov. 7 at the main stadium at the Mike Rose Soccer Complex. The game will begin at 4:30 p.m. Fans are encouraged to tailgate in the parking lots of the Mike Rose Soccer Complex in between the alumni match of Memphis' final regular season game against the South Carolina Gamecocks. The game will kickoff at 7 p.m., and will conclude with the program honoring seniors Rick Alleman, Brian Farrell and Michael Goodlett for the contributions they have made to the program over their four-year careers at the Uof M.
If you are interested in attending the Tommy Smith Banquet on Fri., Nov. 6, please contact assistant coach Nick Glaser in the men's soccer office at 901-678-5949 or at email@example.com. The coaching staff and players are looking forward to an exciting end to the regular season. Go Tigers!