2007 Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award
May 3, 2007
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Dr. Larry Gerlach, faculty athletics representative at the University of Utah, and Marsha Smeltzer, former associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Colorado State University, have been named co-recipients for the 2007 Dr. Albert C. Yates Distinguished Service Award.
The Dr. Albert C. Yates Award is bestowed upon an individual who has successfully supported, promoted and exemplified the ideals of the Mountain West Conference or a member institution. The award is named in honor of the former Colorado State University president. Gerlach and Smeltzer are just the fifth and sixth recipients of the award, joining Linda Estes, former New Mexico senior woman administrator; Elaine Michaelis, former BYU head volleyball coach and women's athletics director; LaVell Edwards, former BYU head football coach and Rudy Davalos, former New Mexico athletics director.
As two of the original members of the MWC Joint Council, Gerlach and Smeltzer demonstrated their commitment to academic excellence and integrity in collegiate athletics through their respective roles at Utah and CSU and by actively participating in a variety of MWC and NCAA committees.
A professor in the University of Utah history department, Gerlach has served as the Utes' faculty athletics representative for 19 years. During that span, he has worked diligently with the student-athletes to address specific issues and challenges facing them on the Utah campus, including being a part of the university's Athletics Advisory Council.
In addition, Gerlach has been actively involved in intercollegiate athletics at the national level, sitting on the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Subcommittee, as well as the NCAA's Professional Sports Liaison Committee, Special Committee on Agents and Amateurism, Core-Course Review Committee and Summer Baseball Committee.
Gerlach has also exhibited his interest in promoting academics in athletics with his active participation in the Faculty Athletics Representatives Association (FARA). He has served on four committees within the association as well as serving as the Division I Vice-President in 1996 and FARA President for the 1999-00 academic year.
A native of Lincoln, Nebraska, Gerlach holds a bachelor's degree in Education (1963) and a master of Arts degree (1965) from the University of Nebraska. He received his Ph.D. from Rutgers University in 1968.
Smeltzer spent 28 years in the athletics department at Colorado State University, most recently in the dual roles as associate athletics director and senior woman administrator, overseeing student services and serving as the sport program administrator for volleyball and softball.
In her position as senior woman administrator, Smeltzer played a vital role in the evolution of women's athletics at Colorado State and throughout intercollegiate athletics at the national level. In the 1990's, Smeltzer was instrumental in helping bring Colorado State in compliance with Title IX legislation, including the reinstatement of the Rams' softball program.
Smeltzer originally joined Colorado State's athletic department staff in 1985 as a member of the school's athletic academic support program, which provides hands-on support for all of the university's student-athletes. She was the administrative liaison to the Colorado State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and also served as a peer-reviewer for the NCAA Division I Athletics Certification Program.
In 1996, Smeltzer was presented the prestigious Margaret B. Hazalens Award by the Colorado State Office of Women's Programs and Studies for sustained contributions to the campus environment for women and their mentoring activities.
A native of Spirit Lake, Iowa, Smeltzer received a bachelor's degree in Physical Education in 1979 from Westmar College, where she was a volleyball and basketball student-athlete. She also obtained a master's degree in Education from Colorado State in 1981.