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Where are they now?: Robert Smith

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Robert Smith ran track for Lipscomb University during his first three years at school. He currently holds four school records. He now owns his own company, Child Shield, which helps with missing children. His school record in the 200 meters was broken this spring after standing for 35 years by freshman Tucker Peabody. Smith took some time to share some of his memories from Lipscomb with lipscombsports.com.

What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?

“I ran track during my freshman, sophomore and junior years, from 1973-1976. I told Coach Joe Haines that I would only run my first three years because I wanted to spend my senior year focusing on graduating, which I did in 1977.”

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

“Being invited to try out for the Olympic Track Team at the end of my freshman year. Coach Haines and I were invited to California for me to try to make the Olympic team. I was a sprinter in the 100 yard dash. I did not make the team; however, that was still a great experience. I was also an All- American in track during my time at Lipscomb.

“Lipscomb had some great student-athletes in all sports during the years that I attended _ Steve Flatt, Will Brewer, Rock Whittemore, Garth Pinkston and Jim Bloomingburg to name a few.”

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

“Jim Bloomingburg. He was a member of the track team while we were at Lipscomb. Jim and I went to the same high school in Arlington, Va. I was one year ahead of him. Jim knew that he would be attending David Lipscomb College once he graduated from high school. Jim and his family contacted Lipscomb and told them about me. As a result, coach Haines called me and we talked. As a result of Jim and his family doing what they did, I went to Lipscomb.

“As a result of attending Lipscomb I found the Lord. I am still a Christian today. I teach Bible classes, occasionally preach when asked or needed at the Chester Church of Christ in Richmond, Va. where I currently attend. As a result of Jim’s actions I became a Christian. Without him, I never would have been introduced to the church. Jim was also a great athlete and person.”

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

“When I arrived at Lipscomb I was a member of the Baptist church. As a result of studying God’s word I realized that the Baptist church was not the church that Jesus said he was going to build. So, I was baptized into the Lord’s church and I am still in the Lord’s church today.

“Another fond moment was when Venny Mathews was elected Student Body President. He was the first black Student Body President at Lipscomb.

“And another would be meeting and getting to know Randy Goodman and Alvin Cobb who were fellow students and also great friends.”

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

“Put God first, and if you do, He will provide! I have had a very good life. The reason, as I grew as a Christian I tried to always do what would be right in the sight of God. As a result, God has blessed me in many ways.”

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

“Robert Hooper, Perry Cotham and Patrick Deese. I had professors who were good to me ( Hooper, Cotham and Deese) and professors who were mean to me. I learned as much from the mean professors as I did from the good professors. The mean professors helped me to get ready for the “real world”. In my work life I had bosses who were mean and I had bosses who were good to me. The mean professors caused me to rely on God even more. So, I was and am thankful for the mean professors as well as the good professors.

“Other men who had a positive influence on me were Joey Haines, Batsell Barrett Baxter, Marlin Connelly, Carl McKelvey, Ralph Samples, Dean Mack Wayne Craig and Wayne Kendall.”

Where do you live now?

“Richmond, Va.” My e-mail address is restoday2@aol.com.

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does you position entail?

“I retired one year ago. I was a manager in the Medical Department for a Fortune 500 Company. Currently, I am the owner of my own franchise. The company is called Child Shield, U.S.A. We are in the business of helping to reduce the alarming number of children who go missing every day in this country. I am the Executive Affiliate for the Richmond, Va., area. I am currently meeting with schools in the Richmond area, specifically Henrico County, to share my info concerning missing children in our area and what we can do to prevent children from going missing.”

Tell us about your family.

“I am married to my wife Jackie whom I met at Lipscomb. We have been married for 32 years. We have two sons, Micah and Marcus.”