Former longtime Spartanburg High School track and field coach Glover Smiley has died, Spartanburg School District Seven announced Monday.

According to Spartanburg High School athletic director Todd Staley, Smiley was 68-years-old and his death was unexpected. No other details were provided.

“Glover Smiley was an icon of Spartanburg School District 7– a dedicated member of our Spartanburg High School guidance department, head track and field coach, and so much more for nearly 30 years,” reflected Superintendent Jeff Stevens.

“His loss is a tremendous milestone felt by legions of people whose lives he touched, both within and beyond our District Seven community. Coach Smiley brought distinction to our district as a trailblazer, having become the first African American head coach of any varsity sport at SHS; through his legendary success for our track and field program; and through his personal and professional recognitions at the state, regional and national levels. It was his positive and monumental influence on the lives of individuals, however, that earned him an unparalleled place within the hearts of so many. No one better reflects the mission, vision and values of District Seven than Glover Smiley. Our hearts are broken as we grieve losing this beloved member of our Viking family, and we express our deepest sympathies to his family.”