Waco, Texas – Gideon Smith, the first African-American athlete at Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University), and former head football coach at Hampton University, has been named the American Football Coaches Association’s recipient of the 2014 Trailblazer Award.
The award will be presented posthumously at the AFCA President’s Kickoff Luncheon on Monday, Jan. 12 at the 2015 AFCA Convention in Louisville, Ky.
Smith passed away in 1968, at the age of 78.
Smith played his professional career with the Canton Bulldogs, and although he only played a single season, he and teammate Jim Thorpe led the team to a league championship. Following one season with the Bulldogs, Smith left to serve in World War I.