Athletics Hall of Fame Spotlight: Alex Smith '17

Alex Smith ’17 will be the first to tell you that none of his success in lacrosse, or in life, is his alone. A community of coaches, teachers, family, and friends, Smith said, lifted him and his teammates as they laid the groundwork for a St. Andrew’s lacrosse program that would ultimately claim multiple MAC regular season and tournament titles.
For his excellence in athleticism and in leadership, Smith will be inducted into the Athletics Hall of Fame during Homecoming and Reunion on October 15. He will be the youngest alumnus yet to be inducted, coinciding with the Class of 2017’s five-year reunion.
“As much of a big honor as it is for me, it’s also a big testament to the program, the coaches, the teachers, the community, my family and especially my teammates,” Smith said. “We put in so many hours and so much hard work into that place and it’s nice to see how my class and my teammates were able to help out and build that foundation for the younger kids and kids to come. I think that’s the proudest moment of all.”
Smith started playing lacrosse recreationally right before he started middle school at St. Andrew’s. During his 10th-grade year, a new coach, Dane Smith, was recruited to take over the program. Coach Smith, Alex Smith said, would transform his experience of high school lacrosse.
“I knew I could work hard, I had the athletic capability, but the mindset came when Coach Smith came in,” Alex Smith said, recalling hours he spent with Coach Smith reviewing tape and learning the nuances of the game. “It was understanding what I needed to work on mentally instead of just physically grinding down.”
While the team would not win a MAC Championship during his years at St. Andrew’s, Alex Smith’s talent and contributions to the team would not go unrecognized. He was named All-MAC three times in lacrosse and All-Met Honorable Mention in 2016. During his 12th-grade year he was named All-Met Second Team for the 2017 season when he scored 38 goals with 21 assists and 45 ground balls.
Alex Smith signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play NCAA Division I lacrosse at University of Hartford, but ultimately transferred to the University of Maryland, where he saw an opportunity to challenge himself both academically and athletically. Alex Smith played short-stick defensive midfielder at Maryland, helping the team win the NCAA Division I National Championship in 2022 while completing his second of two degrees: he holds a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice and a master’s in Business and Management. He was named to the Academic All-Big Ten Team three times.
JD Belin ’17, Alex Smith’s teammate and friend, admired Smith for his character on and off the field, describing him as a “student of the game” who was also intellectually curious in the classroom. He said these qualities continued into college.
“One of the things that sticks out to me is that Alex never really cared about personal accomplishments. He didn’t score a single goal at Maryland, but he was still insanely important, being a defensive middie there and an integral piece of the championship run,” Belin said. “More than personal accomplishments, he cares about the brotherhood and his teammates and ultimately coming together to win the big national championship.”
Today, Alex Smith is beginning a career at Goldman Sachs in New York. In his free time, he plays professionally with the Premier Lacrosse League, and always makes time to connect with current St. Andrew’s lacrosse players, joining the team by Zoom to offer his perspective and advice.
“After my class graduated, that was the first year (St. Andrew’s lacrosse) won the MAC Championship, and from that stemmed a program that is a staple of excellence and competitive, really good lacrosse in the MAC Conference,” Alex Smith said. “I’m proud to see those kids take the reins and make the place better than we found it.”
Dane Smith said Alex Smith exemplified the St. Andrew’s student athlete with his humility, selflessness, and dedication to his teammates and community, qualities that made the program what it is today.
“What I want Alex to be known for is his impact on the program from a cultural standpoint. He laid a standard, what it means to put on a St. Andrew’s lacrosse jersey, that guys would have to live up to for years,” Dane Smith said. “The program still feels it now and will feel it for years and years to come.”
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School is a private, coeducational college preparatory day school for students in preschool (Age 2) through grade 12, located in Potomac, Maryland.