Letter to the editor – June 30, 2021

Attention Marvin Smith fans!

I have completed and will be submitting the necessary paperwork to nominate Marvin Smith for the Kansas State High School Activities Association’s Hall of Fame as a teacher and coach.

The quantity of Marv’s accomplishments and the successes of his student athletes can be readily seen at Iola High School, in the trophy cases on the walls in the commons area, on the walls in the adjacent east hallway (IHS Hall of Honor) and in the gym. 

A brief summary of the successes of Marv’s track and field athletes shows: 24 League Championships (SEK and Pioneer, boys and girls), 13 Regional  championships (boys and girls), 2 boys State team championships and a number of individual League, Regional and State meals; 

In cross country: 24 total League championships (SEK and Pioneer, boys and girls), 7 Regional Championships, boys and girls; and a number of individual League, Regional and State medals. 

That’s a total of 48 League championships and 20 Regional Championships that Marv’s teams have brought home to Iola, plus all the individual medals.

The quality of Marv’s accomplishments comes from the accolades from his hundreds of former students, their parents, colleagues, friends and many others of our community. As many of us know, Marv has been a fixture in our community since 1966 as a chemistry teacher and assistant coach in football and track until 1977, when he was appointed head track coach after “Doc” Stile’s passing and he eventually took over the cross country program also. 

He retired from part of his teaching duties a few years ago, but continued his coaching until finally giving up track and field, but continued with cross country until the end of the 2020 season, when he finally “called it a career.” 

54 years!

Critical to this nomination are letters of support from Marv’s many former students, colleagues, administrators, parents, friends, and anyone else who wishes to join in. Five letters of support will be submitted with the nomination form, with one more letter to follow with a photo of Marv, as required, but we know there are many others who would like to support his nomination. Now is your chance!

Let’s get Marv into the KSHSAA Hall of Fame. Doc  Stiles is already there.

Letters of support should be limited to one page and preferably typed or computer-generated, and mailed by Oct. 15, 2021 to:

Kansas State High School Activities Association

601 SW Commerce Place

Topeka, KS 66615

Attn: Hall of Fame

The committee’s ultimate decision probably will not be released until January. 

Don Bain,

Supt. USD 257, retired

Iola, KS

P.S. I had planned to do this back in 1991, just before I retired, but found out that I couldn’t nominate Marv until he retired. 

So here we are, 30 years later. I’m just glad I’m still here to do it.