Rod Smith may be retired from professional football, but he’s definitely not inactive.
Smith, the former star wide receiver for the Denver Broncos and Missouri Southern Lions, was inducted into the Joplin Area Sports Hall of Fame on Friday night at Twin Hills Country Club.
And while his achievements on the football field are well documented, what many don’t realize is that Smith earned not one, not two, but three degrees from Missouri Southern — one in economics and finance, a second in general business and a third in marketing and management.
And since his playing days ended, Smith has used those degrees to become a successful entrepreneur.
“I do a lot of business,” Smith told the Globe. “I’m in the coffee business, I have a technology company and I have real estate. Actually, I have about 18-20 different things going on. I try to put myself in the places where I can do the most good.”
A two-time Super Bowl champion with the Broncos, Smith has been the owner of the International Coffee Company since 2008, featuring Organo Gold coffee.
In addition to his other business ventures, Smith is currently writing a book about his life, as well.
Smith’s post-NFL success is no surprise to former Missouri Southern men’s basketball coach Robert Corn, who has become close friends with Smith over the years.
“Rod has three degrees and he started putting those to use early on,” Corn said. “He’s involved in several (business) opportunities and everything he touches turns to gold. His work ethic has got to him to where he’s at today.”
Smith noted he can’t be idle for too long. Just because he’s done playing football doesn’t mean he’s going to be spending his days in a rocking chair watching television all day. He’s got work to do, money to make and people to help.
“I just try to maximize life,” Smith said. “People ask me what I do now and I don’t know where to start. I’ll pull out a big list. I’m always active. That’s just what I do.”
Of course, Smith is still feeling good about Denver’s victory in Super Bowl 50.
“The Broncos are near and dear to me,” Smith said. “They helped me grow. I like to remind people here, the Chiefs fans, that the Broncos are the Super Bowl champs so deal with it.”
Current Denver head coach Gary Kubiak was the Broncos’ offensive coordinator from 1995-2005. Of course, Denver won the Super Bowl in 1997-98 with John Elway and Smith playing big roles in Kubiak’s system.
“Kubiak gave me a legitimate shot at being a star in the NFL,” Smith said. “I owe him a lot of gratitude. When he first got the head job I went and gave him a big hug. I knew he and John would get it together there. It was great to see.”