Tarleton assistant rodeo coach is student turned professor

By Toni Evans—

Tibba Smith, Tarleton’s assistant rodeo coach, came into rodeo because of her family’s participation in rodeo. Smith participated in all events: break-away roping, barrel racing, goat tying, and team roping. She made the college finals all four years in college in break-away, three years in goat tying, and one year in barrel racing.

Tarleton’s rodeo program is what drew her from New Mexico to attend college out of state.

Smith, who was born in Carlsbad, NM, transferred to Tarleton her sophomore year from Western Texas College. She participated on the rodeo team under Head Coach Bob Dody for two years.


(Photo courtesy of tarleton.edu)

“I really liked rodeoing for Bob Dody,” said Smith about coming to the Tarleton rodeo family.

After taking some time off from working the rodeo for Dody, Smith came back under Head Coach Mark Eakin when there was a position open. Smith has been the assistant rodeo coach for five years.

Smith loves watching her students excel and encourages them every day to practice and is sentimental toward her rodeo team. “I feel like they are all my adopted children most of the time,” she said.

Shelbie Parrish, a freshman on the rodeo team, said that there are a lot of people on the rodeo team, but if an individual does well Smith makes it a point to let that person know. Parrish also said that Smith is “pretty encouraging” and constantly sending out reminders about things going on.

Smith met husband Sterling Smith while attending Tarleton State University and the pair graduated from the university with the same degree in business administration. They have a 9 year old son named Shane who likes everything about Tarleton but is unsure if he will go there because it lacks a soccer team.

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