BALTIMORE – The Coppin State University department of athletics mourns the passing of former Eagle baseball coach Reginald (Reggie) E. Smith. Smith battled with illness for two years and transitioned on December 30, 2021.
Smith was Coppin’s head baseball coach from 1984-1987 achieving an overall record of 46-106-1. He helped transition Coppin from NAIA to Division I. His best season with Coppin was the 1985 season and the Eagles went 17-28. In 1986, Coppin’s baseball team participated in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and beat Princeton as a Division I institution and the Eagles were runner-up in the MEAC tournament that season.
“Coach Reggie Smith is a Baltimore City Baseball Ambassador and I’m fortunate to have known him for over four decades,” said head baseball coach Sherman Reed. “Coach Smith and his Family touched so many with his pioneering baseball programs originating in Baltimore City in the 70’s and 80’s when opportunities for black kids playing organized baseball was practically non-existent. He was a walking encyclopedia on Baltimore Baseball and for advancing opportunities for Baltimore Youths through his Cardinals Baseball Organization.”
“I’ll miss our long colorful discussions on the state of Baltimore Baseball. I’d always leave those discussions more educated and better equipped to face the Game’s Challenges. Our lives mirrored one another through our kids’ sports. Coach Smith and I reconnected years later watching our daughters compete against each other in Rec Basketball leagues, while spending long nights talking about our son’s college careers when they both were playing SWAC Baseball. (Smith at FAMU and Reed, Jr at Southern University). Coach Smith will surely be missed by all in the Baltimore, Maryland Baseball Community.”
In 1984, Reggie took over as head coach of the Coppin State College baseball program. From 1984 to 1987, drawing from his amateur program and the Baltimore area, Coach Smith raised the stature of that program while ushering several high-level players, including those with achievements in NCAA Divisions I and II, such as stolen base individual champion and stolen base team highest percentage, Academic All-Americans, Maryland representative for the inaugural National Olympic Baseball Team Tryouts and MLB professional baseball prospects. Under his tenure he coached Coppin Hall of Famer Jason Booker.
From 1988 to 1992, Reggie took positions serving as pitching coach then head coach for other colleges, returning to Coppin as pitching coach for the 1996-1997 season. After leaving the college ranks, Coach Smith continued to run the Presstman Cardinals and in the early 2000s began to involve his summer program in the Baltimore Orioles’ division of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program, sponsored by Major League Baseball. After successful participation in the Baltimore RBI, Coach Smith was appointed to manage their Junior and Senior Allstar teams.
Smith is survived by former wife Cheryl Smith, son Rian Smith(Mervice) who he learned from and played for, and daughter Alisha Sepulveda (John) and one grandchild. He is also survived by brothers and a sister: Robert, Jr., Roland, Rodney, Ray, and Laverne, all of whom participated in the Presstman Cardinal Amateur Baseball Club.
Funeral arrangements have been made for January 8 at the March Life Tribute Center in Randallstown, Maryland. Any donations can be sent by Thursday, January 6 to Ikkeia Harrell-Torry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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