University News

WNE Alumnus Rodney Smith Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

Published: November 16, 2021 | Categories: Alumni, All News
Table displaying Smith's medals, trophies, and photos.

One of the most decorated wrestlers ever to hail from the state of Massachusetts, Rodney Smith '89/G'03 was inducted into the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, receiving the 2021 Outstanding American Award, on November 13 at Gillette Stadium.

Smith, an alumnus of the Western New England University wrestling team and member of the WNE Athletic Hall of Fame, is an Olympic athlete who wrestled lightweight Greco-Roman at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, winning a bronze medal in 1992 at Barcelona.

After graduating from WNE in 1989, Smith joined the United States Army and was a member of the Army World Class Athlete Program. Following his journey to the Olympics and his career in the Army, Smith returned to New England to serve as a coach for college and youth programs including serving as an assistant wrestling coach at WNE, as head wrestling coach at Northeast Elite Wrestling, as head wrestling coach at New Fairfield High School, and as head wrestling coach at New Leadership Charter School.

In 2011, Smith started the wrestling program at Hampden Charter School of Science (HCSS)-East in Chicopee, MA. With background and experience as both a teacher and coach at HCSS, Smith is now dean of school culture (vice principal) and director of athletics at HCSS-West in West Springfield, MA.

Learn more about Smith's induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and about his induction into the WNE Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012.