Renowned coach and educator Woodie Michael Smith, 72, of Aurora passed away March 5, 2019 following a long and valiant battle with prostate cancer.
He was born to Sara F. Smith (Gantt) and Woodie N. Smith in Atlanta, GA on June 18, 1946, moving to Denver in 1957. He attended St. Elizabeth Catholic School and graduated from Mullen High School in 1964, where he served as Head Boy. He attended Colorado State College (now University of Northern Colorado) on a football scholarship graduating with a BA in Education, returning to earn an MA in Secondary Education Administration.
Woodie began his distinguished career in education at Mullen in 1969, teaching English and coaching football. He then joined the Cherry Creek School District, teaching English at Cherry Creek High School and coaching football and track. In 1978, he was one of original staff at the newly opened Overland High School, then just the third high school in the district.
In his 28 years at Overland, Woodie was an influential teacher, administrator and coach, receiving the Lifetime Trailblazer Hall of Fame Award in 2018. He taught English for 20 years, was Dean of Students for 2 years and Athletic Director for 8 years. He received the Cherry Creek Schools Chapter Colorado Award in 1991 and was named Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 2002. Woodie coached football, basketball, was head coach of boy’s and girl’s tennis, and was the first girl’s track coach. He was Coach of the Year in 1997 for boy’s tennis and helped create the Overland High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
Following retirement in 2005, he continued coaching tennis until 2018 and refereeing basketball until 2016. Woodie also mentored student teachers through Metropolitan State University of Denver as an Adjunct Professor.
Woodie was highly involved with the Colorado High School Athletic Association, serving on the appeals committee, the Executive Committee for 8 years, and as the Association’s president for 2 years. He received the CHSAA Distinguished Service Award in January 2018.
He was also an active citizen of the City of Aurora, serving 8 years on the Aurora Library Board and 10 years on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
He is survived by wife Holly Harper-Smith, father Joseph Gantt, brothers Stan (Janelle) and Wayne (Mary Therese); children Annette Kubek (Joseph), son Eli (Jennifer) and Megan; grandchildren Cylina Metcalf, Tyra, Tabari, Gabriel Kubek, Nathaniel Kubek and Genevieve; nephews Christopher and Matthew, and countless friends, colleagues and mentees throughout Colorado. He is preceded in death by his mother Sara Gantt and son Marc.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the scholarship fund founded in his name.
Family is requesting guests to wear blue and/or green to the Memorial Mass in support of his years of teaching and coaching at Overland High School.
A scholarship fund is being created in Woodie Smith's name at Overland High School. Please contact the funeral home for more information. Here is the link:
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