Robert Smith is a Lancaster native that accomplished great things in the athletic and business worlds. While at Lancaster Boy's School he participated on the soccer and tennis teams. His senior year, he won the 1923 Pennsylvania state tennis championship and finished as the runner-up in doubles. A successful collegiate career followed at Springfield College where he continued his athletic exploits in both tennis and soccer. His collegiate honors included being named All-American in soccer following the 1929 season. He graduated from Springfield College in 1930. He returned to Lancaster and became a successful businessman specializing in real estate and insurance.
In 1947, Dr. W. Austin Bishop, F&M athletic director, persuaded Bob to become the adjunct coach of both tennis and soccer. With his acceptance of the challenge, history would be forever changed in the sport of soccer. Business demands required that he step back from tennis after five years, but his love of soccer kept him in that position for 16 seasons until his retirement in 1963. His tenure as soccer coach was extremely successful. His teams were known for their sportsmanship, motivation, and discipline. Smith's teams won 99, lost 57, and tied 12 on their way to three Middle Atlantic Conference South titles and the MAC Championship in 1952.
The pinnacle of Smith?s career came in 1952 when the undefeated Diplomat soccer team was named national collegiate champions by the NCAA and the National Soccer Coaches Association. During his coaching career at Franklin & Marshall, Smith developed three All-Americans: goalkeeper Walter Lenz '53 and forwards Carl Yoder '53 and Gerald Husted ?58. He now joins all three as a member of the F&M Sports Hall of Fame. Smith's success with the F&M team led to heightened visibility for soccer at the local high schools. He was known as a crusader for soccer. Smith is married to Madge and has two children. They continue to reside in Lancaster during their retirement.