Former Lions great and Missouri Southern Hall of Famer Rod Smith has been named among a list of three other players and two coaches for enshrinement to the College Football Hall of Fame Divisional Class of 2009. Smith is also part of the Division II Football Hall of Fame, as well as the Arkansas, Missouri and Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
Smith will be inducted as part of the Enshrinement Festival on July 17-19, 2009 into the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Indiana. vSmith is just the second MIAA football player to be enshrined as Ken Dement, a 1950’s Southeast Missouri product was inducted in 1998.
Smith helped the Lions to their last MIAA title and NCAA post season appearance when the team went 9-1-1 in 1993. In 1993, Smith caught 63 passes for 986 yards and 13 touchdowns, and was a finalist for the Harlon Hill Award, given annually to the top football player in Division II.
Smith entered the NFL with the Broncos as a college free agent on May 3, 1994. He holds Broncos’ franchise records for career receptions (849), receiving yards (11,389), touchdown catches (68) and overall touchdowns (71). In 2005, he became one of 25 players in NFL history to reach 10,000 career yards, a feat he accomplished on Monday Night Football vs. Kansas City (9/26/05). Smith is the first player from the MIAA to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl, and the first to play for two Super Bowl winning teams (Super Bowl XXXII and XXXIII).
Smith was inducted into the Missouri Southern Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and is the only football player in Southern history to have his number (9) retired.