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Richard R. Smith Named 52nd Sugar Bowl President

Monday, February 9, 2009

Richard R. Smith has been named the Sugar Bowl Committee's President for the 2009-10 year. A native New Orleanian, Smith is the 52nd president of the organization.

Since joining the Sugar Bowl Committee in 1991, Smith has been responsible for negotiating title sponsorships for the Sugar Bowl with the Louisiana High School Coaches Association, the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, and the Louisiana Soccer Association.  He received the "Contributor of the Year" Award from the Louisiana High School Athletic Association in 1999 and also arranged six major title sponsorships, including the annual Prep Classic in the Superdome. 

"It is a great honor to be President of the Sugar Bowl which continues to enhance its mission of promoting tourism and economic stimulus for the City of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana," Smith said. "With the Sugar Bowl's economic impact of over $150 million in our 75th Anniversary year, it is our goal to continue to raise the bar to ensure our spot in the BCS rotation for the coming years. No other Bowl has our history of hosting 22 National Championship teams and we look forward to continuing that great tradition."

Smith succeeds Ronnie Burns, who presided over the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Legends Luncheon in January 2009. He will serve with David B. Melius, President-Elect, Lance Africk, Vice-President, Jack Laborde, Treasurer, and John A. "Jay" Batt, Jr., Secretary.  The Sugar Bowl's 50th President, Raymond J. Jeandron, Jr.  was elected Chairman of the Executive Committee. Michael O. Read, Warren Montgomery, and Michelle D. Gaiennie were elected to the Executive Committee.

A graduate of Jesuit High School, Smith earned his bachelor's degree from Tulane University and has an MBA from Loyola University.  He is married to the former Linda O'Dwyer, and they have three sons, Richard, Ryan, and Kennedy. He is President of Richard Smith, Ltd., which for over 30 years has managed and marketed real estate.

The Sugar Bowl Committee was founded as the New Orleans Mid-Winter Sports Association in 1934 for the purpose of promoting amateur sporting events that would stimulate tourism and have a positive economic effect on the New Orleans metropolitan area. The 2009 game is estimated to have had an economic impact of over $150 million while the Sugar Bowl has brought over one billion dollars of economic stimulus to the region over the past decade.