HEAD COACH CHRIS SMITH
Chris Smith is in his 30th season as Grove City College's head football coach.
A 1972 Grove City College graduate, Smith is the dean of the Presidents' Athletic Conference football coaches.
He is also the all-time wins leader in the 119-year history of Grove City football. In 2012, Smith guided the Wolverines to a 6-4 overall mark and a 5-3 record in the rugged Presidents' Athletic Conference.
The 2012 Wolverines led the conference in total defense and senior tailback Shane Kaclik became the third 1,000-yard rusher in program history.
Grove City also led the nation in fewest penalty yards per game last season. The Wolverines ranked third nationally in that category in 2011.
Overall, Grove City has been the least-penalized team in the conference six times in the last eight seasons.
Numerous Grove City players have earned national and regional acclaim during his tenure. In 2005, safety Aaron Margo earned First Team All-America from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and represented the U.S. in the Aztec Bowl.
In 2007, center Matt Gregg became Grove City's third Aztec Bowl participant this decade. In 2010, tackle Pete Polesnak represented the United States in the Bowl of the Stars, the Aztec Bowl's successor, while nose tackle Jarred Frawley participated in the 2011 Bowl of the Stars.
Last season, Kaclik, linebacker Jason Ferguson and guard Josh Bermann all represented the United States in the 2012 Bowl of the Stars.
Under Smith's direction, the Wolverine program ascended into the national picture with consecutive PAC championships in 1997 and 1998. Grove City also recorded runner-up finishes in both 1999 and 2000.
During that time, Smith guided an offensive juggernaut that featured record-setting fullback R.J. Bowers, who became the first college running back to eclipse the 7,000-yard mark for his career.
In 1997, Smith led the Wolverines to their first-ever PAC championship and first nine-win season in program history. Grove City capped the season by hosting the United States Merchant Marine Academy in the ECAC Southwest Bowl.
For his efforts that season, the American Football Coaches Association, the Metropolitan New York Writers Association and the PAC all honored Smith as their Coach of the Year.
In 1995, Smith earned the Tri-State Officials Association's Coach of the Year award.
Overall, Smith has coached seven players who have attained All-American status as well as countless others who have earned ECAC and PAC recognition through the years.
The Wolverines' on-field success has been matched by success in the classroom. Over the past two decades, numerous Grove City players have received recognition both regionally and nationally for their academic performances.
Grove City's four CoSIDA Academic All-District selections in 2005 set a new program record. Grove City again matched that standard in 2006.
In 2008, linebacker Adam Eichler and guard Dave Salera both earned CoSIDA Academic All-America honors following the season. Eichler, Salera and wide receiver Stephen Mercer all earned Academic All-District recognition in 2008.
Defensive back Chris Gibbs became the first Grove City junior to be named a CoSIDA Academic All-American following the 2012 season.
Gibbs, Joe Diani, Sam Ivan and Anthony Ritchie all earned CoSIDA Academic All-District recognition last year, tying the single-season program record with four All-District selections.
A highly-respected member of the coaching community, Smith is actively involved on the American Football Coaches Association Division III Football Council.
He is also a past member of the NCAA Division III Football Committee, which supervises the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Smith ascended to the head coaching position at Grove City in 1984 after spending five years as an assistant at the College. Prior to joining the Grove City football staff in 1979, Smith coached the outside linebackers at Western Kentucky University.
Smith's coaching career began at Perry High School in his hometown of
As a player, Smith started at safety for the Wolverines from 1968-71. He led the team in interceptions three times and holds Grove City's career record for interceptions with 22.
Over his 38 years as a player, assistant coach and head coach at Grove City, Smith has been involved in 360 games.
He and his wife, Barbara, live in Grove City. Their daughter Ellie is a 2003 Grove City College graduate.
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