Soccer assistant Ron Smare receives AFLAC "National Assistant Coaches of the Year" award

Columbus, Ga.-----Ron Smare, the assistant coach for the San Jose State University men’s soccer team since 1990, is one of 500 high school and college assistant coaches nationally to win a second annual AFLAC "National Assistant Coaches of the Year" award.

More than 350,000 assistant coaches were eligible for one of these 500 awards sponsored by AFLAC, one of the world’s leading providers of insurance at the work site. A panel of judges from Scholastic Coach and Athletic Director magazines made the selections.

Honorees were selected based on longevity, expertise, contributions to the school and community, and special achievements throughout their careers.

"Ron has been with me for 14 seasons. He’s an outstanding assistant coach. I look at other programs around the country and I wouldn’t trade him for anybody," said San Jose State men’s soccer coach Gary St. Clair. "I’m very pleased and fortunate to have him here."

Smare, a 1977 San Jose State graduate, has coached soccer in Santa Clara County for 25 years. He was the head coach at San Jose’s Del Mar High School for 13 seasons, an assistant coach at West Valley College and at Stanford. Smare was the head coach at San Jose Mission College for seven seasons before joining the Spartan coaching staff.

"AFLAC is pleased to sponsor the AFLAC National Assistant Coach of the year program," said Joe Kuechenmeister, a senior vice-president for AFLAC. "Assistant coaches are the unsung heroes of American sport. So many of us were positively affected by our participation in sports that we wanted to pay tribute to these hard-working, under-recognized coaches who do so much to improve the young people they work with. As a result, they make a major impact in the communities they serve as well."

The presentation of the 2003 AFLAC "National Assistant Coaches of the Year" award to Smare will occur at a date to be determined mutually by the insurance company and San Jose State University athletics.