Smith to return to Fairfield for ceremonySmith to attend Sept. 5 home game
A former community pillar will be returning to Fairfield, if only for a short time.
Former Fairfield High School football coach Pearl Smith is planning to attend a ceremony at Fairfield’s first home football game on Sept. 5 against Albia. The field inside Trojans Stadium will soon be known as Pearl Smith Field, and the ceremony will honor his long career as a Trojan.
“We will call coach Smith down on the track and recognize him and give him an opportunity to speak,” Fairfield activities director Jeff Courtright said.
Smith finished his 25-year career with a 162-67 record (which averages out to more than six wins a season) and led Fairfield to 10 playoff appearances from 1974-87. The coach was able to build a storied program that made the state semifinals, one step away from the state championship game, four times. The most recent was in 1987, when the Trojans fell to Decorah 14-7 after defeating Central DeWitt and Grinnell.
What Smith did away from the field was almost just as important, according to those who knew him and played for him. Whether it was watching game film at his home over the weekend or the positive reinforcement that he used, community members remember Smith’s actions fondly.
Greg Fry, who played defensive tackle for Fairfield from 1976-78, wanted to a Trojan long before he became a member of the varsity team.
“I can remember all the energy from those games, and afterward you’d see him by the concession stands talking with families and players,” Fry said. “It was a great time to a kid in this town. I couldn’t wait to play for him.”
Smith had a strong unit of coaches around him as well, including former defensive coordinator Rich Reever.
“I think Pearl Smith would probably want to be known as a coach that worked well as part of a unit,” Fry said.
The ceremony will begin prior to the start of the varsity contest.