Called the consummate point guard by Baylor basketball coach Austin Clark, Eric Smith started at the position for the Raider basketball team for three years. He was the patient and strong leader of the Baylor offense during some of the most exciting times in the program’s history, culminating in the school’s appearance at the State Final Four, ten years before the TSSAA split into public and private school divisions.
Smith was one of the most reliable and consistent athletes in Baylor’s history, steadily averaging in the tight ranges of 11-12 points, 8-10 assists, and 4-5 rebounds per game in every season of his career. He was named All-District in 1986, All-City in ’86 and ’87, and was All-State in 1987. He was chosen to play in the first ever Tennessee-Georgia All Star Game.
Smith matriculated to the University of Tennessee where he “walked on” to play for the Volunteers and made the team. After two years as a walk-on, he was awarded a scholarship for his final year. He graduated from UT in 1992.
After college, Smith joined the United States Army and served for 20 years, retiring as a staff sergeant. During his career, he was deployed twice to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Smith and his wife, Verneeda, live in Clarksville, Tennessee and have an adult daughter, Nichelle.