Victory Honda’s Smith wanted players to move on to junior, college
“The amount of work he could get done in a day was legendary, particularly at 74,” Victory Honda Midget Major coach Brian Burke said of Bill Smith, longtime VH AAA president who died last month.
Despite his age, Bill Smith was legendary for his work ethic and ability to get a lot done in a short amount of time.
Smith, longtime Victory Honda AAA President, the president of the Victory Ice Center (formerly the Arctic Pond) and D-4 Michigan Amateur Hockey Association Director, passed away on Saturday. He was 74.
The cause is believed to have been COVID-19.
“Unbelievable. It seems totally surreal,” said Victory Honda Midget Major coach Brian Burke about Smith’s death. The two had worked closely for many years.
“He was passionate about the kids making their way to junior hockey and, hopefully, college hockey,” Burke said.
Smith is survived by wife Cheryl, children Kelly and Sean and grandchildren Sutton and Finn.
Smith first came to Victory Honda in 1998 when the organization got its start in AAA as the Ice Dogs. He originally worked in tandem with the late John Stansik, who was the organization’s franchise holder and the owner of the Arctic Pond.
Smith had previously retired from Ford Motor Co., where he worked for over 40 years after serving in the United States Army, according to Burke, who added that Smith grew up in Detroit.
“The amount of work he could get done in a day was legendary, particularly at 74,” Burke said. “(And) his ability to remember rules and regulations was, frankly, astounding.”
There are no known funeral or memorial plans.