We’ve received tons of email about Jack’s passing. While we don’t have enough room to share them all, here’s some we thought you’d like to see.
I lost my number one fan last night along with the rest of my hometown of Liberty, Missouri. I know I am just one of that many lives that Jack has touched. I just loved his smile and excitement for life. Never had someone worry about me as much as Jack did. I am so proud of the legacy that he has left and what an impact he made on the people of this wonderful town. So hard to let go of someone so special, but just so happy to have him looking down on me. Not worried that anyone will forget him, I mean who could forget a guy like that. Love you Jack! Rest in peace big guy.
— Shea Groom
As I can best recall, I have known Jack since my days at William Jewell when Liberty HS played there on Friday nights and I worked the games as part of my work study job. I believe it was my boss, Don, that first introduced me to Jack. Don McCullough, in charge of fields and equipment at Jewell and he and Jack knew each other. Jack accepted me immediately and I know it was one of those things that Jack and Don were friends, so if Don trusted me, then I must be OK. That was over 30 years ago, time flies.
Great guy. He has always come up and greeted me if he spots me in a gym, on a field, or anywhere else. If I could spot him first, it was fun to sneak up on him and get the first hello in. It was hard to do because Jack was alert and on point at all times. Once he knew you, you had a friend for life. When the game started though, Jack was focused just like any other coach, he could get intense.
I officiate the Liberty tournament next weekend and that is going to rank as one of my saddest sports experiences; walking into a Liberty gym and know that Jack is not going to walk up to me and greet me.
Icon. Jack was an icon of Liberty sports.
The Jack Smith’s of the world are the difference makers that by their mere presence can make something good, great. How many time have any of us been asked, “who is THAT GUY that is always around Liberty’s basketball team or football team”, and a great conversation evolves from it.
Guys and gals, like Jack, make us realize that there is so much more to sport than the game itself. They take us all beyond the game. I am going to miss him dearly.
— Mark Mundell
My thoughts and prayers are with you and the Liberty community during this time of grief. Jack was a great person and he is carrying on with his next assignment or duty with the good Lord above, and he is smiling down upon us all!
May God’s speed be with Jack and his immediate family members, the Liberty community and the surrounding KC metro area coaches, AD’s, officials, students and patrons, Jack touched many lives over the past years in such a positive manner, he will be missed.
— Matt Lindsey
How blessed we all were to have known Jack…and all the things he taught us! I know he valued your friendship very much and appreciated you taking such intrest and good care of him! Again, thanks for sharing. He is truly a gift from God to all of us about how to live your life!
— Andy Lierman
Our loss is heaven’s gain. I know Jack has already taken in his first sporting event in heaven and is happy as ever. We should be too…for having been blessed to have known and shared moments with such a wonderful, loving man.
— Gary Belcher