CF Foundation

Distinguished Alumni

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to an alumnus/a, who exemplifies the College of Central Florida’s tradition of excellence through their personal accomplishments, professional achievements, or humanitarian service. One recipient is selected each year.

Melissa Stires
This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipient is Marty Smith. Head coach Marty Smith is in his second year as manager of Athletics at CF and celebrating his 30th season with the Patriots baseball team. Under his leadership, the Patriots clinched the 2023 NJCAA Division 1 National Championship, setting a school record with an impressive 56-7 season. In recent years, Smith has also led the team to consecutive Mid-Florida Conference Championships and FCSAA State and South-Atlantic District Championships.

A celebrated figure in collegiate sports, Smith achieved a remarkable milestone in 2023, joining an elite group of only two active coaches in Florida with over 900 victories in the Florida College System Activities Association. Over the years, Smith has been instrumental in advancing hundreds of players to Division I, II, III and NAIA levels, plus, Major League Baseball. He has been a member of the American Baseball Coaches Association for over 30 years and has recently been appointed as the head coach of the NJCAA/USA Team and will represent the United States at the 2024 European World Championship.

Previous CF Distinguished Alumni

  • May 1996: The Honorable Craig Curry
  • Aug. 1997: Richard Knight
  • May 2001: Morrey Deen
  • Aug. 2001: The Honorable Mary Sue Rich
  • Dec. 2001: Lewis Dinkins
  • May 2002: Jim Williams
  • Aug. 2002: Mary Steddom
  • Dec. 2002: Jim Huber
  • May 2003: Roy Abshier
  • Dec. 2003: Kay Johnson Boyer
  • Aug. 2004: Bobby James
  • 2005: Lori Hornby
  • Aug. 2005: Michael Mangan
  • May 2006: The Honorable Gerald Ergle
  • Dec. 2006: Judge Hale R. Stancil
  • Fall 2007: Van McKenzie
  • Spring 2008: Dean Blinkhorn
  • Fall 2008: Sandra Himmel
  • Spring 2009: Clinton Hart
  • Spring 2010: Dr. Stacy Dickson
  • Spring 2011: The Honorable Charles Dean
  • Spring 2012: Gloria James
  • Spring 2013: George Tomyn
  • May 2014: Sindy Schneider
  • May 2015: Sheriff Chris Blair
  • May 2016: Capt. Shane Ferguson
  • Dec. 2016: Mike Joyner
  • May 2017: Judge Carlos E. Mendoza
  • May 2018: Luther Drummond
  • May 2019: John and Shirley Rudnianyn
  • May 2020: Benjamin Marciano
  • May 2021: Ire Bethea
  • May 2022: Dr. Jennifer Sumner
  • May 2023: Melissa Tony Stires
  • May 2024: Marty Smith