Assistant Dean, Colangelo College of Business
Brian C. Smith, PhD, is the assistant dean and director of sports business for the Colangelo College of Business at Grand Canyon University. He earned his PhD from the University of New Mexico, specializing in sports administration and sports psychology. Dr. Smith is a former NCAA Division I athlete, having competed for the nationally ranked UNM Lobos men’s basketball program while in college.
Since his arrival at GCU, Dr. Smith has worked closely with Colangelo College of Business namesake Jerry Colangelo to provide leadership for the emerging GCU sports business program. Under his guidance, students have received real-world, resume-building opportunities with many recognizable industry brands and properties, including the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, USA Basketball, Nike, Position Sports, Phoenix Suns, Arizona Diamondbacks, PGA Phoenix Open, Arizona Coyotes, MLB Spring Training, Fiesta Bowl, NASCAR, Fox Sports, Global Spectrum, NFL Super Bowl and many others.
Dr. Smith’s research interests primarily relate to social issues in sports, especially as they pertain to the academic performance of NCAA Division I African American male basketball players.
Faculty Spotlight Questions:
Who am I and how did I get to GCU?
I’m a 6’9” former NCAA D-I basketball player with a PhD. My passion for the game of basketball is a big part of who I am, and it was primarily through those basketball relationships that I first got connected to GCU and later offered the opportunity to help launch the GCU sports business program.
What do I enjoy most in the Colangelo College of Business?
The vision, the people and the energy. This is an incredible place to be, whether you’re a student or an employee. The Colangelo College of Business is a Lopes First, student-centric culture. It’s fast-paced, challenging and rewarding. This place is filled with people who care.
What advice do I have for business students?
Keep your life priorities in order: faith and family first. In terms of business, get into something that you really, really love and find a niche. Stay disciplined. Do what has to be done, when it has to be done, as well as it can be done, and do it that way every time. Get after it, from day one. The Colangelo College of Business strongly encourages its students to gain real-world, practical experiences in the form of internships, volunteer opportunities, job shadowing, mentorships, informational interviewing, etc.