PHS Alum Irvin Smith, former pro-football player, now serves as a Montgomery County firefighter

Over the years, Poolesville High School has had many successful graduates go on to pursue their passions and dreams; they demonstrate that the ordinary can become extraordinary. One such student, Irvin Smith, who graduated in 1985, not only became a professional football player, but after spending 10 years playing football for the World League and the Canadian Football league and becoming a two-time all-star, he retired from football and became a Montgomery County career firefighter.

According to long-time friend and high school classmate, Laurie Oyer, “He was the kind of guy everyone liked and enjoyed being around.”

His high school peers said that he was hardworking, friendly, caring, and very athletic. While at Poolesville High School, Irvin Smith  was a starting tailback for the PHS football team, and during his time at Poolesville, the team only lost 3 games, one of which was a state championship. Smith said that during his four years at Poolesville High School, his favorite memory was when he was a junior, and almost every business in Poolesville shut down to watch the football game that qualified the team for the state championship. There was such a large crowd; the town brought in portable bleachers and they were packed.

Irvin Smith graduated from Poolesville High School, and went to college at the University of Maryland and got a degree in criminal science, because he wanted to become a police officer. While at UMD, Smith played football, however instead of being a tailback, the college decided to put him in as a defensive back, even though Smith was originally opposed to the idea of playing defense. Once he graduated from college, Smith became an undrafted free agent for the New York Jets, and after his time with the Jets, Smith played for the London Monarchs in the World League during the 1991-1992 season. He then joined the Baltimore Stallions of the Canadian Football League in 1994, and stayed with the Stallions until they relocated in 1995. The Baltimore Stallions relocated to Montreal and became the Alouettes, and Smith played with them from 1996 until he retired from football in 2001.

Smith advises seniors, “Always have a good plan A, and then make sure you have a plan B.” 

After retiring from football, he became a substitute teacher, and though he was encouraged by his fellow teachers to become a full-time instructor, he was determined to become a police officer. While working to become a cop, his teaching assistant introduced him to a firefighter that convinced him to become a firefighter instead. Smith was noted by his fellow firefighters as being a team player, charismatic, and always working hard.

When asked what he liked about the fire department, Smith said “It’s just like playing football… someone makes a plan, and you have a team to execute that plan.”