Stephen B. Smith To Be Inducted Into The Tennessee Sports Hall Of Fame

Stephen B. Smith. Photo: Courtesy of MTSU Athletics

MTSU Board of Trustees Chairman, former Blue Raiders pitcher and Tennessee Walking Horse Champion Stephen B. Smith has been named a member of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023.

Smith was surprised with the news Saturday evening, prior to the MTSU Lady Raiders basketball game against UAB. MTSU President Dr. Sidney McPhee, MTSU Athletics Director Chris Massaro and Lady Raiders Coach, TSHF Inductee Rick Insell, were all present for the announcement.

“Stephen Smith’s connection to Middle Tennessee covers the last six decades, from his time at Battle Ground Academy, to MTSU, to the Tennessee Walking Horse industry, Stephen has made an impact throughout his life,” says Brad Willis, Executive Director of the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame. “To this day, he continues to contribute his time and efforts to athletics, and we are thrilled to be able to honor him as part of our 2023 Class.”

Stephen B. Smith. Photo: Courtesy of MTSU Athletics

Smith graduated from Battle Ground Academy as a three-sport letterman, before pitching for the MTSU baseball team. The university’s inaugural Board of Trustees Chairman played an important role as part of the 1976 OVC Championship team, and overcame a life-threatening auto accident in 1977 to lead MTSU to a Western Division OVC Championship. He also spent time as a scout with the St. Louis Cardinals. Smith was an original partner and board member of the Nashville Sounds, a board member of the Nashville Old Timers Baseball Association and winner of the association’s 2009 “Mr. Baseball” Award. He has experience coaching youth baseball, and is currently part of the Williamson County Sports Authority as well as the board for Music City Baseball, an organization dedicated to bringing MLB to Nashville. Smith led the effort to construct the first lighted college baseball stadium in Tennessee, the current 3,000 seat stadium and MTSU’s new baseball clubhouse, which is named in his honor.

Additionally, Smith has been a lifelong horseman, winning 10 World Championships as a rider. He is an award-winning Walking Horse breeder, having bred, foaled and raised 11 Tennessee Walking Horses that have won a combined 32 World Championships.

The full 2023 Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class will be revealed in the coming weeks.

The induction ceremony, presented by the Tennessee Titans, will be held Saturday, July 22 at the Omni Nashville Downtown. Ticket information will be announced at a later date.

Steven Boero