On the sidelines, trying
my best to sound intelligent.
Head Coach, Hilbert College Women's Soccer
Creator, Owner of Smedley's Soccer Site
Writer, World Class Coaching
Contributor, Amplified Soccer Magazine
B.S., Management Science, SUNY Geneseo
B.S., Exercise Science, The University of Buffalo
M.S. Exercise Physiology. The University of Akron
USSF 'C' License
Empire United Soccer Academy
Head Coach, Delaware Soccer Club
Assistant Coach, Longwood University Men's Soccer
Lecturer, Longwood University
Adjunct Professor, Canisius College
Assistant Coach, Men's and Women's Soccer, Buffalo State College
Head Coach, Women's Soccer, Juniata College
Head Coach, Women's Soccer, Saint Francis University
Assistant Coach, Women's Soccer, The University of Buffalo
Assistant Coach, Women's Soccer, SUNY Geneseo
Smedley's Soccer Drills
Smedley's Defending Twenty
Smedley's Favorites, Volumes 1-3
Smedley's Guide to Combination Play
The Story of Smedley
I was in the team locker room at Geneseo State (minding my own business, of course) when one of the seniors--Brian Arnold--began to trumpet like an elephant. I'd rather not go into the reasons why he was making this noise, but let's just say that it was one of the many inside jokes that the team shared on a regular basis.
But true to form, as soon as Brian got started, the rest of the upperclassmen joined in. And I do have to say that John Hill did the most realistic imitation of an African elephant that I have ever heard. Absolutely first rate in my opinion, something that he must have devoted years of practice to.
I stood in front of my locker, highly amused but not joining in on the fun as yet. I was still a freshman, and freshmen were to be seen and not heard until a veteran player said otherwise. And wouldn't you know it-that very afternoon, Brian Arnold turned around and asked me to participate.
The Smeds, 1978
"Hey Don!" he said. "Let's hear yours!"
Without hesitation, I stepped up onto the bench and did the very best elephant trumpeting of my life. It was always a good idea to just go along with whatever the seniors wanted you to do, and besides-Brian wasn't trying to give me a hard time. He was our team comedian, and he just wanted me to get in on the fun. He didn't haze the freshmen. His locker was right next to mine, and even though he was a starter and a senior, he'd been great to me since the first day.
So I played along, extending my right arm out and coiling it along side my head like an elephant's trunk. And then I let it rip again. It immediately brought the house down, because it sounded so ridiculous.
SUNY Geneseo Men's
Soccer Team, 1977
(aka, the guys who named me.)
"He sounds like a cartoon!" someone shouted. "He should be on George of the Jungle!"
I trumpeted again, because it was really getting fun.
"No, no!" Brian roared. "He sounds like Smedley! You know--Captain Crunch's elephant!"
And that was that. Brian had pegged it perfectly, and the nickname stuck. Later on that year, I pledged for Phi Sigma Epsilon-a fraternity that always had a bunch of soccer players in it-and the nickname really took off after that. Some thirty years later, it's still what my closest friends call me, and it's pretty much the name that I've come to prefer.
All because of a funny cartoon elephant in some TV commercials. Go figure.