Skippy Smith passed away on January 1, 2021 surrounded by his loving family at his home in Idabel, OK. Skippy was born on February 19, 1944 to Sue and Son Smith.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents, Guy and Celeste Smith; and his in-laws, Harry and Irene Houston.
Skippy is survived by his loving wife, Sandra; his two daughters, Sanda Gambol and Sendi Raney; his granddaughter, Shocka Huffman and her husband Sean; his grandsons, Brasen and Rasee Raney and their dad, Brad Raney; his great-granddaughter, Dru Skippi Huffman; a sister, Mari LeForce and her husband, Scott; sister and brother-in-law, Thela and Mickey Leonard; half-sisters, Sonya Bivins and Laura Smith; and his half-brother, Paul Rogers Smith; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends and former student-athletes.
Skippy graduated from Idabel High School in 1962 and attended Southeastern Oklahoma State University in Durant where he played football and ran track. In 1965, he set the state record in the 100-yard dash with a time of 9.4 seconds. This extraordinary time earned him an invitation to the Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. However, as a college student with a wife, new daughter, and a four-cylinder Tempest, he couldn’t afford to go.
After graduating in 1966, Skippy began his coaching career as a football coach for Valliant Schools on the first football team the school had had since 1940. In his 3-year tenure at Valliant, the team went 21-8. In 1969, Skippy began coaching football at his alma-mater, Idabel High School. He would later become the head coach for the boys track team. In 1975, the Idabel Track Dynasty began with the team winning fifteen state championships in seventeen years. In 1991 Skippy retired from the track program to take over as athletic director and golf coach. Nevertheless, his passion for coaching and his love for the kids brought him out of retirement in 2001 to help his daughter coach the girls track team at Idabel where they would go on to win four more state championships.
For all of his accomplishments, Skippy was inducted into both the National and Oklahoma Coaches Halls of Fame, recognized as the Oklahoma Track Coach of the Year five times, and was the district and regional coach of the year numerous times. Throughout his many years as a coach, he never got off of the bus hoping to win. He expected to win. And with a tender heart and a fierce competitive spirit, he inspired numerous athletes to expect to win as well.
Funeral services will be held at 10:00 am on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at the Idabel High School Auditorium with Rev. AW Gulley and Bruce Hill officiating. Interment will follow at the Denison Cemetery. The family request that everyone wear red and black to honor his love for Idabel Athletics.
The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Monday, January 4, 2021 at the funeral home.
The family requests in lieu of flowers memorials in Skippy's name can be made to an account established at the Idabel National Bank to benefit the Idabel Warrior Track Programs.
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