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Meet the Razorback Administration: Bill Smith

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Meet the Razorback Administration:  Bill Smith

Dr. Bill Smith is the Assistant Athletic Director for New Media and has been with the University of Arkansas for 20 years. Smith was an integral part in the design and implementation of the Razorbacks new and improved Web site, ArkansasRazorbacks.com,
and also handles the department’s printing.
Q: What is different for you in your new position as Assistant Athletic Director for New Media?
A: In some ways, it isn’t different because I’ve worked with Web sites and streaming media for the university since 1995, but now I’m involved with all 19 teams rather than just the women’s teams. It’s exciting work.
Q: What is your role with the Razorback Athletics Web site?
A: The short answer is managing editor over our team of new media personnel and coordinating the information that flows from the Athletic Media Relations office, our coaching staffs and professional staff members. While I still also handle women’s basketball in the traditional media relations role, a lot of my day is spent creating new ways for the Razorbacks to reach out and connect with our fans all around the world.
Q: I hear you’re a big fan of The Simpsons. Who is your favorite character?
A: Excellent. I really enjoy Sideshow Bob — because Kelsey Grammer’s voicing is outstanding, and the writing for his character is great. I sometimes feel like I’m also stepping on the rakes. But of the regular characters, I probably relate best to Lisa. I was never cool enough to be Bart, and in spite of a well-known cinnamon cake donut fetish, I’m no Homer (well, except when I’m calling Razorback games on the radio).
Q: What do you love most about Fayetteville and Razorback Nation?
A: Born and raised in Louisiana where you get two weeks each of spring and fall, two months of wet winter and nine months of sultry summer, I really enjoy the four-season weather and the hills. I love the fall foliage, and the cricket nights of late summer remind me of my grandmother’s home in Arkansas City, Ark. As far as the fans, there is nothing like working at the worldwide headquarters of the Razorback Nation.
Q: Which of your co-workers would you most like to share an office with?
A: Over the past 20 years, I’ve actually shared office space with several of them, but the one I think might be the most entertaining is Kyle Kellams. He’s the play-by-play announcer for women’s basketball, and we tape a series on KUAF called “We’re History” for Ozarks At Large. Kellams is the one person I know who could give Ken Jennings a run on Jeopardy.
Q: Is it called coke, soda or pop?
A: Coke. Please, I am from the deep South.
Q: What professional sports teams do you support?
A: Pittsburgh Steelers, Columbus Crew and Wolvershampton.
Q: How did you get your start in college athletics?
A: I was the co-captain of my high school football team, and we were ranked No. 1 in the state. I had some interest from small schools, but took the opportunity to work at Northeast (Louisiana) as the team cinematographer. Our other team captain had signed with NLU, and his dad put in a good word for me. So before I graduated high school, I’d get summoned to the principal’s office – “Coach (John David) Crowe called and they need you to check out of school to shoot the scrimmage.” For the next nine years, I shot all the team game and practice film for the Indians, including the national championship season in 1987.
Q: Where has been your favorite place to travel?
A: Seattle and the Pacific Northwest or Washington, D.C., although Provo, Utah, is one of my favorite small towns.
Q: What is your favorite band?
A: I’ll give you three; two you’ve heard of – Green Day and Good Charlotte – and one — Flashlight Brown – you probably haven’t.
Q: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?
A: Committed.
Q: You work with a wide variety of sports. Which one is your favorite to cover?
A: All of them, of course. I’m fortunate that in 20 years at Arkansas I’ve been the primary contact at one time or another for every women’s team. The one I have worked with every year at Arkansas is women’s basketball – that’s close to 600 games.
Q: What is something most people don’t know about you?
A: Some people don’t realize I earned my doctorate in American history at Arkansas in 1999 and teach as an adjunct instructor at Northwest Arkansas Community College, but the one that even the people who I’ve worked with for years don’t know is I raced bicycles in college and organized a racing team in Monroe. I do have one trophy to prove it.



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