GOD ordained a life's journey for Hampton Lee Smith that began earthly on October 1, 1934, in Greenwood, MS. He was born a blessing to his parents, the late Richard Smith, Sr., and Fannie Hampton-Smith. One of eight children, the majority of his siblings have proceeded him in death. Hampton Smith leaves to mourn him a brother, Bill Wade Smith, (Greenwood, MS), three nieces; Shelah Peery, Brenda Washington, and Valinda Hines; three nephews: Corey W. Harris, Fredrick Charles Smith, and Ted Arteberry, and throngs of players, former students, and cherished friends.
Hampton received his primary and secondary education in Greenwood, MS. After graduating high school, he attended Mississippi Vocational College, now Mississippi Valley State University. After graduating college in 1957, he joined the US Army, serving from 1957 10 1959.
Hampton met and married Charlene Johnson and shared more than 60 years together in marriage before she proceeded him in death, April 2022, He continued to cherish her and fondly reflect over their lives together until his passing.
Hampton's illustrious football coaching career begin in 1959, as an assistant coach at Mississippi Valley State, followed by coaching stints in high school football at McComb High School and JE Johnson High School (MS), From 1969 to 1970, he served as football assistant coach at Tennessee State, afterwards he arrived at Albany State College as head football coach from 1971 to 1976, From 1977 to 1978, he served as head football coach at Pine Bluff, Arkansas. From 1979 to 1980, he served again at Mississippi Valley State. He returned to Albany State in 1980 to 1981, as an assistant coach, then assumed the role of head football coach from 1982 to 1999, During his tenure at Albany State, he also served as head baseball coach from 1981 to 1983, with a record of 46-37-1.
Known and revered by generations of players as "Cutta", Hampton's football career includes--overall, 157-90-4, at the collegiate level. His record of NCAA D-Il playoff tournament appearances 1-5, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1993, 1997. An impressive - 9 SIAC championships, and a legion of players that entered into the professional ranks in football with NFL teams and other international leagues. A motivator of manhood and achievement of students in general, Coach Hampton Smith encouraged many and on a multitude of occasions facilitated his players' transitions from the football field to high achievers in many different segments of the community-- in the classrooms, business owners, administrators, decorated miliary personnel, professionals in every walk of life, and impressive coaches with outstanding stats and records on marry different fields of play - people of achievement. Hampton's unwavering support for Albany State is widely known - he continued to recount and reflect over "his players" and "his students" across many decades. He was a pillar in the community and widely respected, known by those who knew him directly and indirectly as "Coach Hamp".
Hampton "Cutta" Smith gave his final coaching message on October 2, 2023, a day after his 89th Birthday as he responded to the audible call of the Head Coach, his heavenly father, as he transitioned this life. The community has lost a great coach and a special person. Special recognition and thanks to his caregivers: Nita Clyde, Felecia "Dutchess* Shavers, and Annie Parker (nutritionist). Acknowledgements to the MICU staff of PPMH, the Oaks Assisted Living facility, Horizons unit.