Alabama Gymnastics Practice Facility Dedicated for Frances Smith


Friday, November 05, 2004

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Mr. Steve D. Smith

The University of Alabama Gymnastics Practice Facility, part of the Coleman Coliseum Annex, will be dedicated the “Frances Smith Gymnastics Practice Facility” Friday, November 5 during a ceremony at Coleman Coliseum.

Mr. Steve D. Smith of Tuscaloosa made a one million dollar gift to the Crimson Tradition Fund in honor of his mother, a life-long Alabama fan who “never misses a home gymnastics meet.”

“All of my life our family have been loyal fans and spectators of the Crimson Tide,” Mr. Steve Smith said. “In 45 years as a local business in Tuscaloosa, we have been the beneficiaries of an extraordinary institution like The University of Alabama.  I felt this was my opportunity to give back to a school that has meant so much to us as community members and Crimson Tide fans.”

The naming ceremony will include the Smith family, Crimson Tradition Fund Executive Committee members and University of Alabama Board of Trustees members, as well as former athletes and long-time boosters of the program. It will be held at 6:00 p.m. in the gymnastics practice facility.

The Smith family has lived in the Tuscaloosa community since 1960 when T.W. Smith moved his wife and five children from Maynardville, Tennessee to start a Krispy Kreme franchise. Frances Smith worked alongside her husband until his death in 1987. She and her children operated the local franchise from 1987 to 1994, a demanding job that often required 16 hour days, seven days a week. Mr. Smith’s nephew, Evan Smith, has managed the Tuscaloosa market since Mrs. Smith’s retirement in 1994.  Her dedication resulted in her being named “Franchisee of the Year” in 1991, an honor that T.W. Smith earned in 1986 and Steve Smith earned in 1988 and 1996. The “Franchisee of the Year” is the highest honor given by the corporation.

In addition to being an avid Alabama Athletics fan, regularly attending, in addition to gymnastics, football, basketball and baseball games at the Capstone, Frances Smith is an avid runner, having won approximately 100 10-kilometer races.

All of the Smith children worked for Krispy Kreme at one point or another. Steve, Don, T.W. Jr., and Kathy combined to have over 200 years of experience with Krispy Kreme.  Steve was named to the Krispy Kreme Corporation Board of Directors in 1992 and was honored as a board member emeritus in 2003.

Steve and his wife Connie have three children, Chris, Leslie, and Laura all of whom participate in the family business. 

The Crimson Tradition Fund is a comprehensive $100 million dollar campaign targeted at improving and enhancing Crimson Tide athletic facilities and programs.  Facility naming and dedications are subject to approval by the University of Alabama Board of Trustees. 


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The 2005 Alabama Gymnastics team poses at the dedication.

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Drew Falls, Connie and Steve Smith, Sarah Patterson, Frances Smith, Mal Moore and Paul Bryant Jr. celebrate the facility's dedication.

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A plaque recognizes the special dedication.

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Coach Sarah Patterson speaks to the assembly.

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Steve Smith speaks at the dedication.

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Mr. Steve D. Smith of Tuscaloosa made a one million dollar gift to the Crimson Tradition Fund.