Lady Eagles' Jackson Smith Named to SAC Hall of Fame
April 3, 2009
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. - Former Carson-Newman Women's Basketball All-American Leah Jackson Smith has been named to the 2008-'09 South Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame's Class of 2008-'09.
Jackson Smith becomes the third Lady Eagle student-athlete, and first C-N women's basketball player, to be elected to the SAC Hall of Fame. She joins softball standouts Heather Randolph (Class of 2003-04) and Carol Zachary Mitchell (Class of 2006-07).
Jackson Smith played and started for four season at Mossy Creek, leading the Lady Eagles to an 89-32 record, including three of the first four women's basketball SAC titles in league history. She earned first team All-SAC honors in each of her four seasons at C-N, taking SAC Player of the Year and NAIA All-American honors as a senior in 1992-'93.
"This is a great honor for Leah and our program," said former Lady Eagle head coach Eddie Carter, who coached Jackson Smith throughout her C-N career. "She is very deserving of this honor. She elevated us from the middle-of-the-pack team in the SAC, and made us one of the top teams in the region."
Jackson Smith also left her mark in the SAC record book. She is the only player in SAC history to finish with more than 1,700 points and 1,100 career rebounds, and is 11th all-time in scoring, after a 15-year stay in the top 10.
One of the most complete players in conference history, Jackson Smith finished her career averaging 15.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. She is currently in the top 10 in SAC history with 1,103 rebounds (3rd), 670 made field goals (4th), and a career field-goal percentage of 53.5 percent (8th).
"She changed the game on the for us on both ends of the court," Carter added. "She was a big reason we won three SAC titles and reached the NAIA Tournament twice. She would be equally as dominant today."
Jackson Smith came to Carson-Newman from Science Hill High School in Johnson City, Tenn. where she averaged 23 points and 16 rebounds per game. Since graduating from C-N, she has worked with the Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department as a program coordinator in charge of afterschool programs and activities.
Joining Jackson Smith in this year's class are former SAC Commission Doug Echols, who served as the first league's first commissioner; Lenoir-Rhyne University's Michelle Baity Bryant, one of the conference's most dominating volleyball players; Tusculum College women's tennis standout Lesley Murray, the SAC's first-ever four-time player of the year; and Mars Hill College's Andy Thompson, one of the top men's soccer players in SAC history. The class of 2008-09 joins the 63 current members in the SAC Hall of Fame.
Carson-Newman inductees to-date are: Class on 1999-2000: Dr. Cordell Maddox, Carson-Newman (President); Albert Sloan, Carson-Newman (President). Class of 2002-03: Todd Collins, Carson-Newman (Football). Class of 2003-04: Heather Randolph, Carson-Newman (Softball). Class of 2005-06: Boyce Green, Carson-Newman (Football). Class of 2006-07: Carol Zachary Mitchell, Carson Newman (Softball); Ken Sparks, Carson Newman (Football Coach). Class of 2007-08: Danny Sanders, Carson-Newman (Football).