Legendary Mississippi Gulf Coast coach Doris Ruth Smith was inducted into the MACJC Sports Hall of Fame on April 24 at a banquet at the Muse Center on the Hinds Community College Rankin Campus.
Smith coached at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College for 20 years, compiling a 150-69 record in softball and a 129-141 record in basketball.
Smith was softball coach in 1972 before spending the next two years as tennis coach. She returned to the diamond in 1975, and her team won the MAIAW state championship in 1977 with runner-up showings the next three seasons.
When the 1981 season opened, and softball became sanctioned by the Mississippi Association of Junior Colleges, the Lady Bulldogs went 24-2 and won the state championship. They won another in 1984, as well as the NJCAA Region 23 title. Gulf Coast finished seventh in the NJCAA Women's Slowpitch Softball National Tournament in Hanceville, Ala.
In 1986, the team won state and region titles before going on to finish seventh at the national tournament, earning her state and region Coach of the Year honors.
Smith led the team to a South Division title in 1988, and the next year won state and region runner-up trophies. Her last championship came in 1991, when Gulf Coast won the South Division.
Smith was in charge of the women's basketball team from the 1979-80 season until 1991-92, winning one South Division title in 1988. She was named the MACJC Women's Basketball Coach of the Year that season.
She retired in May 1992.
Ross-Smith Field, the home of Gulf Coast's softball team, was named in honor her and her former boss Sue Ross. Ross was inducted into the MACJC Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
For a list of all 15 MGCCC student-athlete and coaches who have been inducted, go to http://www.mgcccbulldogs.com/general/MACJC_Hall_of_Fame/Index