Inducted February 12, 2005
DeAndre Smith was the triggerman of a very potent triple-option offense for the best two SMS football teams of the Bears’ I-AA era, the Gateway Football Conference champion and NCAA Division I-AA playoff teams of 1989 and 1990 under coach Jesse Branch. Smith came to SMS from St. Louis in 1987 and quarterbacked the Bears four years, with his top exploits coming in his final two seasons. SMS finished 10-3 when Smith was a junior and got to the second round of the playoffs. SMS won the league crown outright, turned back Maine in the playoff first round and lost at Stephen F. Austin in the quarterfinals. When Smith was a senior, SMS finished 9-3, losing in the playoff first round to Idaho. Smith was a two-time all-league first team quarterback. He was the Gateway Offensive Player of the Year as both a junior and senior, and was the Gateway Offensive Player of the Decade for the league’s first 10 years of existence, 1985-95. Smith was a consensus I-AA All-America as a senior, winning top honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Associated Press, Football Gazette, The Sports Network and American Football Coaches Association. Smith’s numbers were as notable as his honors. He started 34 of the 45 SMS games he played. He completed 281 of 493 passes for 4,080 yards and 18 touchdowns with a .570 completion mark. His 405 passing yards in 1990 at Tulsa set an SMS single-game record. He was also a prolific runner, carrying the ball 613 times for 2,276 yards and 40 more touchdowns. He set SMS career records for plays run (1,106), total yards (6,356), points (242), touchdowns (40), completion percentage (.570) and consecutive games scoring a TD (10). Smith then began a successful career as a college football coach.