Dr. Helen Smiley began her Western career as
the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women from 1985-88. When the
men's and women's department merged, Smiley served as the Director of Athletics
for Operations until 1994. She took over as the Leathernecks' Athletics
Director that year and served in that capacity until her retirement in 2001.
Named NACDA/Continental Airlines AD of the Year in 2000, Smiley was honored by
the Mid-Continent Conference (now Summit League) by having the Women's
All-Sports Award named after her. The prestigious award is given at the end of
the academic year to the Summit League member that collects the most points in
relationship to placement in league-sponsored sports.
A member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors
of Athletics (NACDA) since 1981, she has moderated and presented roundtable
discussions on several topics for the organization. Twice she did presentations
at the NACDA convention (1982, 1989), served on the Nominating Committee
(1889-90) and Board of Directors (1988-92). Smiley worked with the NCAA on
basketball committees, including: Chair of the North Central Region Division
II, Administrative team of the Division II National Tournament (1982-85) and
Mideast Regional Advisory Committee (1996-99). Dr. Smiley was a member of the
Board Round Table on Rules Education and presented materials.
During her tenure at Western she worked on numerous
Administrative, Compliance, Promotional and Women's Basketball committees with
the Gateway Collegiate Athletic Conference and Mid-Con. She served as Chair of
the Director's Council from 1998-2000.
Smiley graduated with a bachelor's degree from DePauw,
received her master's at Ball State and a doctoral degree from Iowa. She began
her professional career as a teacher and coach at Northwestern High School
(Kokomo, Indiana) then Western HS (Russiaville, Indiana) before taking over as
the Director of Women's Recreational and Intercollegiate Sports Programs at the
University of Iowa. She became the first Women's Athletic Director for the
Hawkeyes. She took over as Associate Athletics Director at the University of
North Dakota from 1971-85 and then began at Western Illinois.
Currently residing in Bella Vista, Arkansas, she volunteers
her time doing community service for several groups, and is involved with three
music groups: Perfect Harmony Women's Barbershop Chorus, Natural Sound
Barbershop Quartet and Bella Vista Women's Chorus. Smiley has one son, Doug
(former Western Illinois Sports Information Director and WIU graduate).