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Mike Smith, Titans First Golf National Champion, Dies at 63
May 27, 2014 - Mike Smith, who in 1971 became the first golfer from Brevard Community College (now Eastern Florida State College) to win an NJCAA individual national golf championship and who was a member of the Titans first national championship team, also in 1971, died May 21 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Smith was 63 and suffered from lung cancer.
Smith won his national championship with a score of 295. He went on to play 333 PGA Tour events, finishing as a runner-up twice and recording 12 top-10 finishes. He played his final PGA event in 2000. Smith also played four full seasons on the Champions Tour, the final one in 2010.
Funeral services were held on Friday at New Live Oak Cemetery in Selma, Alabama, Smith's hometown.
"I have known Mike since 1971 and he was the same person from day one through all the years I knew him," said Eastern Florida head coach Jamie Howell. "He always greeted you with a smile. He was never to up or too down when it came to his golf and life and he always enjoyed good company.
"The record will show his playing career as that of a journeyman on the PGA, PGA European, and PGA Champions tours. A severe back injury in the early 1980s curtailed his ability to practice for extended periods of time and led to an uncertainty of how his back might hold up over the course of multi-round tournament play. In all the years I knew him he would never complain about his back injury and would handle the times he wasn't able to play with a dignity that is lost on many athletes in today's professional world. Mike Smith was the consummate PGA professional.
"He was a good friend and I will miss him. It is a proud moment when I relate to our current golf team members that Mike was BCC's first individual national champion in men's golf, as well as leading that team to our first ever team national championship."