December 13, 2008
San Marcos pastor to help guide Austin Turfcats in the game of life
Gary L. Smith, who spent 20 years as a US Air Force chaplain, will serve as the first chaplain to the newly formed Austin Turfcats of the Southern Indoor Football League Team.
Smith said, “God, family, the church and sports…four loves of my life for my entire adult life. I have always loved playing sports, being around the sports world, and writing about the sports world and its tremendous impact on our society and history. This is exciting to me to become a spiritual component of a professional sports team. It is a dream come true for me to be able to be the minister to the athletes, the men and women who run the organization, the family members of the athletes, and to help establish a tone of professionalism that is redeeming for the athletes, the families and the community around the team.”
A lifelong love of people and sports was lived out for 20 years as an Air Force chaplain (1983-2003), during which he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Smith was the first and only chaplain in Air Force history to graduate number one out of a class of 604 line officers in the military's Squadron Officer School at Air University in Alabama, an eight-week course to shape and determine leadership capabilities. The course included heavy emphasis on team building, academics and sports competition and included military officers from around the world.
The 1999 MLB All-Star game at Boston's famous Fenway Park included Gary and his daughter Amity working that game as USAF representatives. It was one of their many father/daughter highlights at Fenway Park while living in Boston.
Christ the Redeemer Church in San Marcos is the place where Gary and his family currently serve. His graduate degree is from Texas Christian University (Brite Divinity School) with a Master of Divinity Degree with a major in Family Systems Counseling.
He has worked with soldiers and athletes around the country and Europe during his assignments which include Texas, Arizona, Germany, England, Boston, Mississippi, Alabama and The Netherlands.
Gary says it is enjoyable to observe how sports and church blend together for the good of the community.
Gary still plays and coaches softball along with his son Daniel. Their team has led their church team to four city championships in the last six seasons. At age 54 he played with the senior major league fast pitch baseball team in San Antonio.
“Bringing together all of his military and sports background to the Turfcats team members and organization for the good of all – God, team, families and community,” he said.
Smith is supported by his wife Pam and his children Amity and Daniel.
Great locations are still available for the 2009 season! Act now to reserve the best seats. Call a Season Sales Representative today at 866-969-TCAT (8228] to reserve your seats today. The Austin Turfcats are committed to being a premier team in the Southern Indoor Football League and being involved in the community for which we serve.
For more information or get photos for media outlets or to get your 2009 Austin Turfcats season tickets, contact the Turfcats office at (866) 969-TCAT (8228] or by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org