When Joe Smiley left Lake Stevens High School in 1982 for college, professional football and, eventually, for his home in Stanwood where he raised four sons, his Viking legacy was well-established.
In 1982, when Joe Smiley, Cascade High School’s Scott Katz and Snohomish High School’s Rick Fenney were among the best heavyweight wrestlers in the U.S., Joe defeated each wrestler twice. He earned honors as an all-conference offensive and defensive tackle, then, also in 1982, as a heavyweight class wrestler, was state champion, a Vans High School All-American, Junior Olympic National Greco-Roman champion and Junior Olympic Freestyle Champion. That year Joe won a Silver Medal at the National Sports Festival in Greco-Roman wrestling, was 1st alternate on the Junior World Team, placed 6th or better in six national tournaments, and represented Washington State on the Cultural Exchange team that competed in France.
At the University of Idaho with a full scholarship, Joe earned four letters in football, and in 1985 (when his Idaho team were conference champions), was an All-Big-Sky offensive guard. Joe signed a free agent contract with the Indianapolis Colts in 1986, and, in 1989, served as graduate assistant offensive line coach for Idaho, who won their conference again that year. Joe’s Coach Steve Anderson: “Joe was small for a heavyweight – only about 215 lbs. – but was the most dominant heavyweight I saw in the 40 years I was involved in wrestling.”