Grady Smith: 43 Years of Excellence

Coach Grady Smith’s basketball teams left their mark on the court, winning a total of seven state championships during his coaching career.

Now Smith has left his mark on the court, too.

Stratford’s basketball court was dedicated and renamed “The Grady” on Friday, Dec. 6, in between games for girls and boys varsity basketball against Deerfield-Windsor School.

Smith – who has been at Stratford for more than 43 years, has served as the athletic director since 1977, won a total of 20 state championships in girls and boys basketball, golf, and softball – will retire at the end of this year.

Head Football Coach Mark Farriba already has been announced as Smith’s successor.

“I feel fortunate to have played for Grady and I credit him for setting me back on the correct path on several occasions in his office during one-on-one ‘meetings.’  I learned during my junior year that he cared much more for the person than the player as he pushed me to be a leader both on and off the court,” Chairman of the Board Jeff Avant said at the dedication.

Smith won basketball state championships with both girls and boys squads, including 1978, when he coached both the girls and boys teams to championships on the same night.

Smith was the girls coach from 1970 to 1980 and the boys coach from 1975 to 1995.  He led the boys to one SEAIS state championship and two GISA AAA state championships, and the girls to four SEAIS state titles.

Smith also coached girls’ softball from 1982 to 2000, winning three GISA AAA state championships. He served as the head golf coach from 1971 to 2005, winning 10 state championships.

Smith also was the head coach of the boys soccer team from 1979-1981.

In addition to coaching, Smith started many sports at Stratford during his tenure as athletic director, including volleyball, softball, cross country, shooting sports, wrestling, soccer, swimming, and most recently lacrosse.

“He’s a great leader for our athletic program at our school and what makes him so great is that he is a person that leads by example and he doesn’t sit back and wait for other people to do the job. He joins in and makes sure that the things that need to get done, get done.” current Girls Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director Ed Smith said in an interview.