Tommy Dee Smith

March 16, 1931October 4, 2013

Statesboro, Georgia: Tommy Dee “Doc” Smith joined his Savior on Friday, October 4, 2013, in Statesboro, Georgia. He was born on March 16, 1931 in Lawrenceville, Illinois to Ruby and Dick Smith. His family moved to Huntingburg, Indiana, in 1935 and operated a retail furniture business for forty years. Tom is survived by his wife of 57 years, Sue Lynch Smith, Statesboro; daughters, Julia Smith Dempsey (Cal), Barnwell, South Carolina and Cynthia Smith Waters (Adam), Statesboro; and six grandchildren, Ryan and Ross Waters and Tommy (Sally), Neal, Abby and Rachel Watkins. Tom always felt fortunate to have grown up in Huntingburg, Indiana because of its excellent school system and music program. He enjoyed playing the cornet for 27 years. Tom loved basketball, was All-State, and played in the first North-South All-Star game held in Murray, Kentucky. He was awarded basketball scholarships to Indiana University and Indiana State Teachers College. He served in the United States Army, stationed at Camp Rucker, Alabama and Fort Benning, Georgia. Tom spent fifteen years teaching and coaching in Indiana in the cities of Wheatland, Attica, Spencer, and Boonville. During this time he earned a Masters Degree in Guidance and Counseling. Tom also received a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine and Athletic Training from Indiana University. Tom “Doc” Smith moved his family to Statesboro, Georgia in 1971 where he accepted a position with Georgia Southern College, officially becoming known as “Doc”. He was an Assistant Professor of Health and held the title of Head Athletic Trainer for 23 years. During his career, Doc was honored to work with many sports legends: Georgia Southern University Head Coach, Erk Russell; Georgia Southern University Head Baseball Coaches, Ron Polk and Jack Stallings; Indiana University Head Athletic Trainer, Dwayne “Spike” Dixon; Head Swim Coach of Olympic swim teams at Indiana University, Doc Councilman; olympic swimmers, Mark Spitz and Gary Hall; and the 1973 Russian Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team, which included Olga Corbit. Doc was the Athletic Trainer for Georgia Southern College when the baseball team played in the NCAA 1973 World Series in Omaha, Nebraska and in the Intercontinental Cup Baseball Tournament held in Cuba in 1979. Doc proudly wore four national NCAA championship rings earned by the Georgia Southern University Football team for 1985, 1986, 1989, and 1990. Doc believed all of his student trainers to be legendary as well as all Georgia Southern University athletes. He was a great supporter of all Georgia Southern University Athletics and is now truly soaring with Eagles. A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 1:00 pm, Wednesday, October 9, at Pittman Park United Methodist Church in Statesboro with Rev. Brad Brady and Rev. Bill Bagwell officiating. Visitation will be held in the church fellowship hall from 12:00 pm until the celebration hour. Burial will be in Eastside Cemetery in Statesboro. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation or the Tom “Doc” Smith Scholarship , P.O. Box 8115-01 Statesboro, Ga. 30460 .

Hodges-Moore Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Please visit our online memorial at to sign the guest book and share fond memories with the Smith Family.


  • Visitation Wednesday, October 9, 2013
  • Celebration of Life Service Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tommy Dee Smith

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Carol Wagoner

October 25, 2013

Sue and Family,
Tom was a very special friend to Bob and they remained close through-out their lives. I know they are talking baseball every chance they get with Ruby and Dick.

Felecia Prince

October 24, 2013

I was very sorry to hear about the passing of your father and husband. I have many fond memories. Mrs. Smith was one of my favorite instructors at Georgia Southern. Cynthia and I worked at William James together for years. I taught Ryan in the 7th grade and I knew his brother also. Again, my thoughts and prayers continue to go out to all of you. Love Felecia Prince

Cheryl Rogers

October 11, 2013

Julie & Family, I was sorry to hear about your Dad. My thoughts & prayers are with all of you. Love, Cheryl

Keih Griffith

October 9, 2013

Sue and Family,
You know most of his players at Spencer, Indiana considered him our coach even though we lost him for our senior year. He was a great influence for many of us. Be Blessed

Darin Van Tassell

October 9, 2013

Doc and his staff were at the heart of every athlete and coaching staff at Georgia Southern. Your legacy remains with us all, Doc!

Arthur Sparks

October 9, 2013

I retired from Georgia Southern and knew Tom for many years. He most certainly was an expert in his field. Furthermore, he never hesitated to share this knowledge with anyone who sought his assistance. He helped many during his years at Georgias Southern.

Tom was fun to be around and I always enjoyed talking with him. I'm sure most people feel this way. He will certainly be missed.

I will be unable to attend the funeral since I have to be out-of-town. However, my thoughts and prayers are with Sue and the rest of the family.

May God bless.

Dr. F. C. Ellenburg

October 9, 2013

I was on the faculty from 1967 thru 1991. Doc was well like and a GREAT supported of GSU. Everyone that know him has lost a friend.

October 8, 2013

Our love and deep sympathy to you Sue, and to Julie, Cyndy and their families. Tom was a great man, and I am so glad I knew him.
Love, Dave & Kitty Williams Donnan

October 8, 2013

Love and Blessings to the Smith family. May the Lord comfort you during your time of sorrow. Doc had such a wonderful impact on everyone he came in contact with. Will never forget him and how good he was to me during my time at Georgia Southern..
May the Lord Bless you and keep you, may the Lord cause His face to shine upon you, May the Lord turn His face towards you and Be merciful to you..and grant you Peace...

Mike Moore

Hank Schomber

October 8, 2013

Doc is, was and will always be remembered as one of the "great ones." He was always fun to be around and I enjoyed working with him in GSU athletics. There was never an athlete, coach, administrator he wouldn't make time for. And always with a smile or chuckle. Our prayers are with his family.