College of the Canyons Hall of Fame coach Lee Smelser’s name was forever emblazoned onto the court where he built a legacy.
The Cougar Cage’s basketball court was officially unveiled as Lee Smelser Court on Saturday, honoring the longtime Canyons coach.
Smelser led the men’s basketball program for 31 years and remained on staff to assist current coach Howard Fisher for an additional two years.
The Hall of Famer led the Cougars to four Western State Conference championships and finished his illustrious career with 455 career wins and four conference Coach of the Year awards. Smelser also guided 73 players to all-conference honors.
In 2005, the Cougar coach was also inducted into the California Community College Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Smelser dedicated the majority of his time to numerous COC sports. Smelser served as the college’s golf coach, launched and coached the softball program, and also took on the athletic director role for five years.
According to a COC news release, Smelser remains part of the school’s community and can typically be found attending home games of multiple Canyons sports.
Smelser Court is one of three Canyons athletic facilities being renamed, as the baseball field will be renamed to honor former head coach Mike Gillespie, while the softball team room will be renamed to the “Michele Jenkins team room.”