Javi Smith ’15 currently serves Olivet College as an assistant football coach, working with the team’s receivers and as the equipment coordinator. During his time as a student at OC, Javi studied fitness management and played for the Comet football team himself. After his own season ended, Javi stayed engaged with the team as a student assistant coach. Four years later, his passion for the game hasn’t wavered. According to Javi, there’s nothing he loves more than football.
What brought you to Olivet College, and why do you love the College?
After high school, I went to community college for year, but I wanted to get away from home and get the full college experience that community college couldn’t provide. I then came to Olivet to go to school and play football. At Olivet College, I love the relationships that I’ve built over the years and that I continue to have with former professors and coaches who are now colleagues. Now I get to share my experiences with current players and future recruits.
What is your favorite memory from your time at OC?
My favorite memory is being a part of the 2015 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championship football team. I have watched the football program grow and develop over my time here as a player and a coach. To see and experience the program’s recent success over the years is a memory that continues to grow.
Where do your passions for coaching and football stem from?
Those who know me or have seen me coach know just how passionate I am about what I do. Most of it stems from being a former player at OC, but I feel that I owe it to my players, the team and this program to give it every ounce of me. We call it “The How!” We define that as “an unmatched passion for excellence.” My passion comes from my love of the game and the blessing that it is to be able to do what I do. Some days it’s hard to believe that this is my job.
What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?
Being the equipment coordinator is a unique part of my role. I am responsible for making sure more than 100 football players are fully and properly equipped for practices and games. I have to plan ahead so we have everything we need for not only the players, but also for the coaches on game days. On top of that, like all the coaches, I need to take care of my game day coaching responsibilities as well.
The role of a coach varies every day, so some days are better than others. There are days when we have some good laughs and other days when a coach and a player may end up crying together. That variety is something that I love about coaching.
Why do you encourage students to attend OC?
The best part about my job is that I get to help change the lives of the student-athletes who come through our program. It’s incredible to know that I can have an impact on players’ lives. I get to watch them grow and develop into better people than they were when they arrived.
I just want students, who may or may not have grown up with the same background as me, to know that there is more they can achieve. They can create options for themselves with a college degree.
What do you look forward to in your role?
I look forward to bringing home another MIAA championship to OC Nation!
What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?
I actually know how to cook well! I was raised by my grandmother, so I grew up watching her cook for our family. I wouldn’t say all of her skills rubbed off on me, but enough to make me dangerous in the kitchen — in a good way, that is!
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.