Arvin Smith (Memorial Scholarship)

Arvin Smith (Memorial Scholarship)

One of the iconic figures who played a major role in the growth of Hartnell College athletics, Arvin Smith was well-known from one end of Salinas Valley to the other.

He graduated from King City High School, was hired by Salinas High School in 1950, and after serving in the Army from 1951 to 1953, and began his Hall of Fame coaching career when at Hartnell in 1960 as head football coach. He had already made a name for himself after six years at Salinas High coaching the lightweight football team and then the varsity. During that span he compiled a 51-11-4 record and six league titles.

Hartnell football thrived under Smith. He had one of the highest winning percentages of any Hartnell coach in history, going 71-27-1. Along the way the Panthers captured five conference crowns, two co-titles and one state championship.
In addition to coaching football, Smith was the college’s golf coach from 1960 to 1986 and also took over the cross country team in 1972.

His educational background included a bachelor’s degree from the University of California-Santa Barbara with a degree in physical education and minors in biological science and health education. He also received a master’s degree in personnel service from the University of Colorado.

Smith was inducted into the Hartnell College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.


The Arvin Smith Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established in order to support future generations of student athletes’ success.