The Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s Harry G. “Doc” Jopson Award, an honor given to the league’s top male senior student-athlete, has been presented to John Macon Smith ’14.
John, who played first base for the baseball team, is Guilford’s first recipient of the Jopson Award since the Quakers joined the league in 1991. The annual award’s recipient is selected by a vote of the ODAC Board of Directors.
The announcement marks yet another significant award for John, who last week garnered First Team Capital One Academic All-America® NCAA Division III baseball honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He became the Quakers’ seventh Academic All-American® in school history and the second to earn first-team laurels. He is Guilford’s first baseball player so honored by CoSIDA’s Capital One Academic All-America® program.
A two-time Capital One Academic All-District® 5 honoree, John concluded a brilliant three-year career with the Quakers in April. He became the fifth baseball performance all-American in school history with his selection to the American Baseball Coaches Association’s (ABCA) Third Team NCAA Division III All-America squad. He earned First Team All-ODAC baseball recognition and was named the league’s Farm Bureau Insurance Baseball Scholar-Athlete according to a vote of the league’s sports information directors.
John earned All-South honors from the ABCA and from D3baseball.com for the second time in his career this spring. The two-time First Team All-ODAC selection led the Quakers with a .459 batting average, a .531 on-base percentage, 44 runs, 68 hits, and 13 stolen bases in 38 games. John smacked eight doubles, four triples and six homers. He finished second on the team with 40 runs batted in (RBI) and a .689 slugging percentage.
Through games of May 27, John ranked seventh among NCAA Division III batting average leaders, ninth in on-base percentage, 28th in slugging percentage, 33rd in runs per game, and 45th in hits. He totaled a team-high 23 multiple-hit contests, 10 multiple-RBI games and accumulated a 14-game hitting streak in 2014. John reached base at least once in all 38 games.
In three Guilford seasons, John recorded a .417 batting average with 23 home runs and 124 RBI. He set the school's career record for hits per game (1.63). John ranks second in school history in batting average, sixth in runs (125), and sixth in RBI. He was named to five all-region teams, three All-ODAC squads and twice received the league's Baseball Scholar-Athlete Award in his illustrious career.
John graduated in May with high honors and a 3.83 grade point average. The dean's list accounting major was a six-time member of Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll and a three-time Academic All-ODAC selection. He was recognized for outstanding achievement by an accounting student at Guilford’s 2014 Awards Convocation and has a summer internship with McGladrey LLP. John also won Guilford’s 2014 English Athletic Leadership Award, the school’s top athletics honor. He will pursue a master’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the fall.
The Jopson Award is named in honor of the Bridgewater College professor and coach who spent 45 years at the Virginia school before retiring in 1981. Doc, who initiated and directed the Eagles' cross country and track programs, led his teams to ODAC indoor track titles in 1979, 1980 and 1981, and outdoor crowns in 1978 through 1981.