Brian Smith celebrates during Missouri's meet against Oklahoma State (Photo/Mark Lundy, Lutte-Lens.com)
Brian Smith, head wrestling coach at the University of Missouri, has been named recipient of the 2019 Don Faurot Sportsperson of the Year by the Kiwanis Club of Columbia, Mo.
The annual award -- named in honor of the school's late, legendary former football head coach and director of athletics, Don Faurot -- was established in 1991 to honor an outstanding candidate who contributes to the local sports community as an athlete, coach, administrator or official.
Smith, who took the helm of the Mizzou wrestling program in 1988, guided the Tigers to another successful season in 2018-19, including a 16-1 regular-season record, the team's eighth straight conference title, and fifth straight top-10 finish at the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships, with four wrestlers earning All-American honors at the 2019 NCAAs in Pittsburgh.
Coach Smith will be presented with the award at a banquet on Tuesday, June 18, at the Broadway Hotel in Columbia.
Brian Smith is the second individual affiliated with the Mizzou mat program to receive this honor in as many years. In 2017, J'den Cox, 2016 Olympic bronze medalist in freestyle wrestling and three-time NCAA and MAC (Mid-American Conference) champion for the Tigers, received this award.
The Don Faurot Sportsperson of the Year Award is presented by the Kiwanis Club of Columbia, a service organization established in 1922 with a mission to raise money and awareness for causes which "enrich and protect the lives and well-being of young people, especially those growing up in high-risk circumstances" according to their official website.