Former Albany State football and baseball coach Hampton Smith has passed away at the age of 89 per a release by the university on their social media accounts. Smith is arguably the greatest coach in Albany State football history, leading the program from 1971-1976 and 1982-1999.
On behalf of President Marion Ross Fedrick, Albany State University is deeply saddened to share the passing of former ASU football and baseball Coach Hampton Smith. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/dqOF7XSTgX
— Albany State University (@AlbanyStateUniv) October 2, 2023
The statement from Albany State posted to their social media accounts said, “On behalf of President Marion Ross Fedrick, Albany State University is deeply saddened to share the passing of former ASU football and baseball Coach Hampton Smith. We extend our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.”
Smith was born on October 1, 1934. In college, he attended Mississippi Vocational College, now known as Mississippi Valley State University, and played football for the Delta Devils from 1953-1956. He earned his master's degree from Tennessee State University and started his coaching career as an assistant at Mississippi Vocational in 1959. He joined Albany State for his first stint as coach in 1971. The Rams boasted two successive winning seasons in 1972 (7–2–1, 4-1-1 in conference) and 1973 (6–3–1, 3-2 in conference) before his first departure in 1976.
Upon leaving Albany State after his first stint, he became an assistant coach for the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff from 1977-1978 and then joined Mississippi Valley State's coaching staff in 1979 before rejoining the Rams as an assistant coach from 1980-1981.
He then took over as head coach again in 1982 and led Albany State to its most successful years in the program's history. In his 17 years during his second stint as head coach, the Rams won 9 SIAC championships including a three-peat from 1984-1986 and a five-peat from 1993-1997. From 1993-1997 his teams made the NCAA Division II Playoffs 5 times and advanced to the Quarterfinals in 1997.