Jill Angell Smith, a former Meadville local, is being inducted to the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame May 24.
Angell began coaching after graduating from Meadville High School in 1979 and has built a noteworthy career since then.
Angell started coaching softball and baseball for Meadville Lions Club after her first summer back from the University of Central Missouri in 1980. She used the money made over the summer to pay for her next year of college. Angell kept coaching each summer until she graduated in 1983.
After graduation Angell got a job working for the Centralia School District and started coaching middle school track and basketball. Angell became the first middle school softball coach in 1994. In 1999 Angell became the head coach for the Centralia High School varsity softball team. Since Angell began coaching the varsity softball team, she’s won four state titles, 11 district titles, eight conference titles and nine sectional wins.
For Angell, coaching is not just about winning games.
“No. 1, I love the game, but I love teaching and seeing the players mature, grow and improve,” Angell said.
Angell is married with a daughter and two sons. She now has three grandchildren. According to Angell, her family keeps her going.
“One of the things that has been most important to me is my family support,” Angell said. “From my parents, to my siblings, my husband and children, I’ve had so much support.”
Angell’s mother Janeta Smith says she’s proud of her daughter.
“This is very special,” Smith said. “She’s always worked for her kids and making sure they play the best they can.”
Angell stepped down as the Centralia varsity softball head coach late last year. She will start coaching middle school softball once again this fall. Angell has been coaching teams for 33 years since she graduated high school.
Previously Angell has been recognized as the National Federation High School Association Coach of the Year in 2012, Clarence Cannon Conference Coach of the year from 2010 to 2017, Best of Prep Sports Awards Female Coach of the Year in 2017 and was inducted into the Missouri High School Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2014.
Angell’s induction ceremony into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will be May 24 at the University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Springfield, Mo.