Richard A. “Captain Dick” Smith was a legend at Washington & Lee University where he served as Athletic Director from 1921 to his retirement in 1954.
Smith coached baseball at W&L for 30 years from 1922-52, during which time his teams compiled a record of 248 wins, 253 losses and 7 ties. Captain Dick also coached the Generals’ basketball teams in 1926-30, with his best team posting a 16-2 mark in 1928-29 and 16-4 in 1929-30, during this time W&L were playing some of the toughest College and University teams in the South. He even assisted in coaching football during these years.
A native of Culpepper, Smith attended Washington & Lee from 1909-12, then coached and taught mathematics at Fishburne Military School for nine years before returning to his alma mater in 1921 as athletic director.
Richard A. “Captain Dick” Smith passed in August of 1975 at the age of 86. Washington and Lee President Robert E.R. Huntley upon learning of Smith’s death stated, “Capn Dick Smith has been an institution at Washington & Lee. It is from persons like him that this school has derived its strength and its character over the centuries. I shall miss him sorely, as will all his many friends, but he will never be forgotten at W&L.”