Staff Series: Ron Smith


Alyson Gee

Ron Smith, Westmont’s Sports Information Director

Annika Bahnsen, Sports Editor

Ronald Smith, Westmont’s Sports Information Director, is a vital figure in the athletics office.

Smith was born in Chicago, Illinois, but lived in six different places before his family settled down in Los Angeles, California right before the start of his high school career. “I think moving around so much when I was young taught me not to be overly attached to things,” Smith shared, “Every time we moved, we weeded out our possessions.” 

After he found his home in California, he met his wife, Leslie, who also works at Westmont as the textbook manager in the bookstore. The two have been married for 43 years and have lived in Goleta since. Smith emphasizes, “I never imagined living in one place for more than 40 years, but I could not think of a better place to make a home than in Santa Barbara.”

Although his current role at Westmont has been one of his longest-standing careers, this profession was not in his original plan. After graduating from Pepperdine University, he worked in a manufacturing company for several years. After that, he worked in ministry for 17 years as a pastor and campus minister for the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara Community College. 

Then, in 2000, Smith transitioned his career to be in a more sports-focused position. Smith mentioned, “Our kids were very involved in high school sports and the internet had just started to be available in people’s homes. I had always loved sports and came up with the idea of starting a business that would provide a website to promote high school sports leagues, providing rosters, schedules, results and even stats and photos.” This kickstarted his occupation to be more sports information based. Four years after this endeavor, Smith was hired as the Sports Information Director at Westmont. 

When asked why he decided to pursue this position, Smith said, “I was excited to take the job because it allowed me to combine my faith in Jesus with my passion for sports.” Additionally, Smith talked about what he appreciated so much about sports in general: “[I love] the drama that is played out in real time,” he continued, “There are so many storylines and so many emotions, but no one knows what will happen until the final buzzer sounds, the last point is scored, or the final out is made. I love to see how people adapt to the challenges, triumphs and setbacks that arise in athletic endeavors.”

Many people may not necessarily know what the Sports Information Director’s job entails, but Smith put it perfectly: “We get to tell the stories of games, student-athletes, coaches, teams, the Westmont Athletic department and Westmont itself.” Specifically, Smith’s day-to-day routine looks like writing recaps of the games for the athletic website and local paper, celebrating our student athletes and coaches, producing broadcasts for the home athletic events, and keeping a record of stats. 

Smith has big dreams and expectations for the Westmont athletics department. He explained that “we want to give our readers and viewers insight into the culture, character, community and mission of the college itself. Westmont is a unique place, and we have a platform to communicate a message about Westmont that reflects who we are.” 

We are appreciative of the work that Ronald Smith has done and continues to do for the Westmont community. If you see him around campus, make sure you say hi and thank him for his dedication to our school!

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