Harford Community College has named Tom Smith, HCC’s first first-team All American, and Lester Lee, a beloved College and youth sports coach, to the HCC Athletic Hall of Fame Class of 2017. They will be honored for their commitment to excellence.

This year’s class will be recognized on Thursday, February 23, at the APG Federal Credit Union Arena. Festivities will include a special reception and induction ceremony in conjunction with the Fighting Owls women’s and men’s basketball games against the Valley Forge Military College. Tip off for the women’s game is 5 PM. The induction ceremony and the reception will take place prior to the men’s game at 7:30 PM.

The Athletic Hall of Fame provides an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the College’s outstanding alumni, coaches and administrators. These individuals exemplify the hard work and dedication required to achieve greatness both on and off the playing field.

Tom Smith (Football) was a wide receiver for the Fighting Owls during the 1976 season, catching 43 passes for 720 yards and 12 touchdowns. He is Harford Community College’s first-ever first team All-American, making the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-America team in 1976. Described by the media as “a lot of offense by himself” and “the most pleasant surprise ever at HCC,” Smith was at one point during the season ranked the number one junior college receiver in the nation by the NJCAA. He transferred to Wake Forest University and continued to play football for the Demon Deacons. Smith is currently the mid-Atlantic representative for Wintrust Financial Corporation.

Lester Lee (dedicated HCC coach and fixture in Harford County sports) has served as a coach in three sports at Harford – men’s and women’s basketball and softball – for more than 12 years, and during this time, has helped guide more than 150 Fighting Owls victories. “Sports, along with teaching and mentoring kids, has been my passion for a very long time,” mused Lee. “I will continue to help, teach and mentor students and kids until I can no longer do so.” Also an all-around athlete, Lee has spent his lifetime in Harford County sports as both a participant and a youth league coach. He began in the Babe Ruth League in the 1940s and participated in high school basketball and track, competitive roller skating and bowling. He competed in the Senior Olympics from 1996 to 2000, winning more than 30 medals, and he still plays in the Harford County Men’s Senior Softball League. His youth sports coaching credits include basketball, baseball and football, earning him the Mid-Atlantic Coach and Recreation and Sportsmanship Award in 2005.

“Harford Community College has enjoyed a long history of strong athletic programs, and I am proud of the accomplishments of our dedicated alumni athletes and coaches. The Athletic Hall of Fame is an ideal way to recognize both their athletic and personal achievements,” Ken Krsolovic, HCC Athletic Director, said. “They have been not only great leaders, but they have also inspired greatness in others.”

The Harford Community College Athletic Hall of Fame inducted classes in 1992 and 1993. The Office of College and Alumni Development partnered with the Athletics Department in 2014 to revive this great tradition and honor the legacy of contributors to the College’s athletics programs with a continued annual celebration.

Purchase tickets online at Adult tickets are $20 and tickets for children 10 and under are $10. Ticket prices include the reception, the induction ceremony, and seat for the basketball doubleheader. For more information, call 443-412-2563. Proceeds benefit the HCC Foundation’s Fighting Owl Fund.