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St. Thomas' Smith gets honor

Longtime St. Thomas Aquinas football coach (and athletic director) George Smith, who led the Raiders to the 5A football title after three consecutive years of championship-game hearbreak, will be honored by the American Football Coaches Association.

From the FHSAA:

GAINESVILLE – George Smith, the football coach and athletic director at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, will be honored by the American Football Coaches Association as the 2008 Power of Influence Award recipient during the association's Coach of the Year dinner at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn. on Jan. 13, 2009.

The Power of Influence Award was created by the AFCA to honor a deserving high school football coach for his effect on his players, school and community, including community service, mentoring and role modeling. It is the first AFCA award specifically designed to honor a high school coach.

"The FHSAA would like to add its gratitude and thanks to George for all that he has done for the student-athletes in our state," said FHSAA Executive Director John A. Stewart. "No one we know is more deserving of this honor."

--Patrick Dorsey (e-mail)