Janet Eaton-Smith, M.Ed., Vice President of Athletics
Janet Eaton-Smith was named Lourdes University’s first full-time Athletics Director in July of 2018. In the summer of 2021, she was promoted to Vice President of Athletics.
Eaton-Smith was named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Terry Bocian Athletics Director of the Year for the 2020-2021 season after guiding the Gray Wolves through the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape.
While at Lourdes, Eaton-Smith has been at the forefront of expanding the athletics department. Under her leadership, the Gray Wolves have been named a NAIA Gold Five-Star Institution each of her first two years, the first two gold awards in the department’s history.
She has been responsible for three new sports, men’s and women’s tennis as well as women’s wrestling, along with resurrecting the track program. In addition, she has aggressively pursued sponsorship opportunities within the community, forming numerous new partnerships. She has also greatly increased the Lourdes athletic department’s fundraising and has worked to secure grants for facility improvements.
Eaton-Smith has also been responsible for establishing a student-athlete banquet at the conclusion of the academic year, highlighting each of the various teams. She also formed the “Wall of Fame”, a compilation of the NAIA All-Americans that have been produced throughout Lourdes’ athletics history.
While at Lourdes, Eaton-Smith became a member of the NAIA RISE (Respect, Inclusivity, Support, Education) program, providing an avenue for NAIA membership to participate in training and programming aimed at influencing positive change in the association where all people are valued and provided equal opportunity in all aspects of life. She is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Eaton-Smith arrived at Lourdes from Indiana State University, where she served as an assistant basketball coach for the Sycamores for four seasons. She served as the program’s lead recruiter, garnering a pair of All-Missouri Valley Conference players, including the league’s Newcomer of the Year. Eaton-Smith also organized and scheduled all the team’s community service activities, including a community-wide tutorial program with the local elementary schools. She also was an adjunct professor while at Indiana State.
Prior to her stint at Indiana State, Eaton-Smith spent six years at Wiley College, a NAIA school in Marshall, Texas, where she was the school’s Director of Athletics her final three years. While at Wiley, she was named the Red River Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2013-2014 and was appointed to the National Administrative Council for the NAIA in 2014.
Eaton-Smith also reinstated the men’s soccer program at Wiley along with the Hall of Fame and started the women’s soccer program at the school. The athletics department won the RRAC GPA Award and the men’s track and field program was named the 2013 NAIA Outdoor Champions of Character Team. In addition, the Wildcats hosted the RRAC basketball tournament and cross country championships during her tenure.
Before being named the Director of Athletics at Wiley, Eaton-Smith was the Associate Director of Athletics and head women’s basketball coach at the school. She was responsible for departmental compliance, fund-raising, managing intramural sports, and special events within the athletics department. She also helped establish a full-time Sports Information Director at the school, which produced yearly media guides for the department. As a coach, she recruited a pair of All-RRAC selections, including the Defensive Player of the Year.
Eaton-Smith began her collegiate athletic career at Lamar University, where she was an assistant coach for the NCAA Division I program for four seasons. She recruited and coached a Junior College All-American, the 2007 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year, and three All-Southland Honorable Mention players.
Prior to working in the collegiate setting, Eaton-Smith spent time as the athletic director, women’s basketball coach, and a teacher at Xavier University Prep High School in New Orleans, LA after coaching and teaching at St. Bernard High School in Louisiana. At Xavier Prep, she was named the district’s Athletic Director of the Year in 2001-2002. That same season, Eaton-Smith earned Metro Coach of the Year, Co-Catholic Coach of the Year, and Orleans Parish Coach of the Year accolades. During her tenure at Xavier Prep, she also received District Coach of the Year honors. In addition, Eaton-Smith was a sponsor for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
A 1994 graduate of Dillard University with a Bachelor of Arts in health and physical education, Eaton-Smith received her Master of Education from The University of Phoenix in 2001 in education administration with an emphasis in diversity.