University's Darnell Smith Named Athletic Director of the Year

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By University Communications
Tuesday, 06 04 2024

Smith started as A&M-San Antonio's inaugural athletic director in 2019.

Darnell SmithSAN ANTONIO —Texas A&M University-San Antonio is proud to announce that Darnell Smith has been named the 2023-24 Red River Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year. The RRAC is a college athletic conference affiliated with the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, with member institutions in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. 

This prestigious honor recognizes Smith's exceptional leadership and contributions at A&M-San Antonio, including overall program performance, facility development, game administration, coach recruitment and retention, and student-athlete development.

Since starting as A&M-San Antonio's inaugural athletic director in 2019, Smith has spearheaded the successful introduction of men's and women's soccer, softball, and men's golf, with plans for further expansion, including men's and women's basketball for the 2024-25 season.

"I'm honored to receive this recognition on behalf of my incredible team," Smith said. "Together, we have worked tirelessly to transform lives through the power of sports and make a meaningful impact in our community. This award is a testament to our collective dedication to building champions at Texas A&M University-San Antonio."

In his role, Smith has also helped oversee several construction projects, including the Recreational Sports Center, which will serve as the University's home basketball court after it opens later this summer. He is also helping plan the construction of a new $2.7 million softball facility and a $7 million track and field/multi-sport facility. 

In addition to his role as athletic director, Smith serves as the chair of the NAIA's RISE program, which strives to create and maintain an inclusive culture that fosters participation for student-athletes and career opportunities for coaches and administrators. 


About Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Established as a stand-alone university in 2009, Texas A&M University-San Antonio is a comprehensive four-year public university that reflects the culturally diverse, heritage-rich community it serves. Situated on nearly 700 acres in South San Antonio, the University offers 39 undergraduate degrees and 23 graduate degrees to about 7,620 students. A&M-San Antonio is home to the Henry G. Cisneros Institute for Emerging Leaders, the Cyber Engineering Technology/Cyber Security Research Center, and the Mays Center for Experiential Learning and Community Engagement. The University holds the Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) designation and is one of 39 higher education institutions in the U.S. to have received the Seal of Excelencia certification from Excelencia in Education for its support of Latino student success. More than 77 percent of A&M-SA students identify as Hispanic, and approximately 72 percent are the first in their families to attend college. A&M-San Antonio is a military-embracing institution; the University was recently awarded the 2023 Gold Veteran Education Excellence Recognition Award (VEERA) from the Texas Veterans Commission. Visit for more information. #onamission