PUNXSUTAWNEY — A ceremony will officially rename the track at Jack LaMarca Stadium for one-time coach John F. Smith at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, just prior to the Punxsy Chucks football match-up against Saint Marys.
Smith taught physical education and coached track and field and cross country in the Punxsutawney Area School District from 1971 to 2015. During his tenure, he coached everyone from state champions to special needs athletes. He helped raise funds for the area’s first all-weather track through the 1,000 Mile Run at Harmon Field in the 1970s.
Among the students who benefited from his leadership were Mike Hampton, a two-time PIAA state champion in the 1,600-meter run in 1989 and 1990 who was ranked second nationally in the 1,500 meters; Frank German, 1980’s state runner-up in the 1,600-meter run; and Scott Curry, third place at states in 1994 for the 1,600-meter run.