Written by Bryan Messerly
Robert “Bob” Smith, a native of Charleston, W.Va., started every game of his basketball career from 1957-59.
Back to Hall Of Fame
Playing along side Jerry West, Smith scored 1,127 career points, averaged 12.3 points per game, averaged 6.3 rebounds per game and finished with 289 career assists.
As a senior, Smith was named second team all-Southern Conference and honorable mention All-America, averaging 12.6 points and grabbing 5.3 rebounds. In his senior season on the way to the NCAA finals, Smith scored a career-high 29 points against New York University.
As a junior, Smith averaged 12.4 points per game and was named to the Southern Conference all-tournament first team and averaged 11.7 points and 7.2 rebounds as a sophomore. He posted a career-best 14 rebounds as a sophomore against Washington & Lee.
Playing forward and guard, Smith was a three-year letterman and co-captain of the 1959 team that played for the national championship.
Smith was a part of three Southern Conference championships and three NCAA tournaments. During his career, the Mountaineers never lost a regular season or tournament game in the Southern Conference.
Following graduation, he played two years with the Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA and the Pittsburgh Rens of the old ABL.
After his playing days, Smith coached on the prep level for 15 years in Northern Virginia, spending two seasons as junior varsity coach at W.T. Woodson High in Fairfax and 13 years as head coach at George C. Marshall High in Falls Church.
Smith was accorded numerous honors during his prep coaching career. He was on the coaching staff of the Suburban Prep All-Stars in the McDonald’s Capital Classic in 1978 and the Metro All-Stars against the U.S. and Russian Junior Olympic teams in 1977. Smith was twice named Potomac District Coach of the Year on two occasions.
He came back to West Virginia in 1978 to serve as an assistant coach under Gale Catlett until 1985.
Following his coaching career, Smith moved to Naples, Fla., and has worked in the real estate profession.
Smith and his wife, Jean, have two sons – Steve and Scott – and two grandchildren.