Corey Smith (American football)
|No. 98, 71, 58, 93|
October 2, 1979|
March 2009 (aged 29)|
Off the Gulf Coast
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||250 lb (113 kg)|
|High school:||Richmond (VA) Marshall|
|College:||North Carolina State|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Corey Dominique Smith (October 2, 1979 – March 2009, missing, presumed dead) was an American football defensive end. He was originally signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He played college football at North Carolina State.
Boating incident and disappearance
On March 1, 2009, the United States Coast Guard reported that a 21-foot fishing boat was missing off the Gulf Coast near Clearwater Pass, Florida. The boat was carrying four passengers, including Smith; Marquis Cooper, a member of the Oakland Raiders; as well as Nick Schuyler and Will Bleakley, former University of South Florida football players. The four men left Clearwater Pass on February 28 at 6:30 a.m. and were expected to return later that night. The Coast Guard Cutter USCGC Tornado began searching for the missing boat shortly after midnight on March 1, 2009. By 1:35 p.m. EST on March 2, 2009, the boat was located, overturned, with Schuyler clinging to it. The other three passengers were not found. According to Schuyler, Cooper separated from the group at 5:30 AM, with Smith disappearing about an hour later. 24 hours later, Bleakley became unresponsive, and despite Schuyler giving him CPR, he also disappeared. Schuyler was found less than six hours later. The search for the three men who remained missing ended at sundown on March 3, 2009. Friends and relatives organized a private search which was called off several days later.
Smith's family has established the Corey D. Smith Memorial Scholarship Fund in his honor. The Detroit Lions held a memorial service for him on March 21, 2009. The Detroit Lions announced they would retire Smith's #93 during the 2009 season in honor of him.
An investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission determined that the incident was caused when the vessel was improperly anchored and the boat capsized after one of the passengers tried to throttle forward in an attempt to pry loose the anchor.
Smith was named the 2009 recipient of the Detroit Lions/Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association/Pro Football Writers Association's Media-Friendly "Good Guy" Award. The Good Guy Award is given yearly to the Detroit Lions player who shows consideration to, and cooperation with the media at all times during the course of the season. His family accepted the award on behalf of the late NFL player.
- Coast Guard to End Search for Missing Boaters CNN, March 3, 2009
- Search suspended. Friends and family to organize private search
- Private search called off
- Lions to Hold Memorial for Missing Boater ESPN.com, March 20, 2009
- Lions to retire Smith's No. 93 in '09 ESPN, March 21, 2009
- "Report: Boat not properly anchored". ESPN. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-03-27.