Director of Intercollegiate Athletics & Recreational Sports
Darnell Smith is the inaugural director of intercollegiate athletics and recreational sports program for Texas A&M University-San Antonio. The program, established by House Bill 1439 and approved August 8, 2019 by A&M University System’s Board of Regents, set the stage for creating the first intercollegiate athletics program in South Bexar County.
Smith returns to San Antonio bringing with him over 15 years of experience in strategy, compliance, equity and inclusivity as well as a deep understanding of the student-athlete experience. He will lead A&M-San Antonio’s intercollegiate sports programs with plans to start women’s softball, men’s golf and men’s and women’s soccer in Fall 2020. Smith will oversee the implementation of the university’s intercollegiate athletics strategic plan and manage resources, facilities, finances and fundraising efforts for the division of athletics.
Smith recently served as the assistant athletic director of compliance at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he spent the past decade overseeing NCAA compliance, student-athlete services and student-athlete welfare programming. He was also the deputy Title IX coordinator for athletics, and he chaired the Division II Ethnic Minority and Women’s Internship Grant Committee.
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree of natural and applied sciences from Oklahoma State University (OSU), where he played defensive end from 2002 to 2006. He is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma in adult and higher education with an emphasis in intercollegiate athletics administration. A three-time recipient of the Arthur Ashe Scholar Award at OSU, he earned second team honors on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-America Team. He received the John McLendon Minority Foundation Scholarship.
Before his success at OSU – on and off the field – Smith spent his junior and senior years as a defensive end and linebacker at San Antonio’s Taft High School, where he earned all-district and co-Defensive Most Valuable Player honors, playing for former coach Lee Bridges. His senior team was runner-up in Texas Class 5A in 2001. Smith attended Virginia Allred Stacey Junior-Senior High School (Stacey) on Lackland Air Force Base as a freshman and sophomore, and competed in men’s track and field and men’s basketball. He was instrumental in helping Stacey reach the men’s basketball playoffs (Area) during the 1999 and 2000 seasons, respectively.