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Johnny Torres Enters CU Athletics Hall of Fame
Release: 04/13/2004
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Omaha, Neb. -- Johnny Torres will become the 48th member of the Creighton Athletics Hall of Fame in a banquet at the Downtown Doubletree tonight. Torres was a two-time National Player of the Year (1996 and 1997) during a standout career for the CU men's soccer program.

Women's tennis student-athlete Pam Gerik and men's soccer player Shane Havens were awarded female and male Rev. Carl M. Reinert S.J. Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, respectively, while Reynold "Ren" Smith was named "Jaybacker of the Year."

The Crieghton Athletics Hall of Fame debuted in 1968 with the induction of Bob Gibson. Biographies on Torres and Smith are below:

Johnny Torres
    Few athletes in Creighton history have earned as many accolades as two-time National Player of the Year Johnny Torres.

    Born in Medellin, Colombia, he moved with his family to Houston at age five. When his parents moved back four years later, Torres remained in Houston with an adopted family and later went on to star on the U.S. under-17 national team. Shortly thereafter, Torres would join the Creighton soccer family and become one of the all-time greats.

    Torres arrived at Creighton in the fall of 1993, where he was a leader on three Missouri Valley Conference Tournament champion teams while appearing in four NCAA Tournaments, including the school's first-ever College Cup in 1996. Torres was a three-time all-MVC player and earned National Player of the Year honors in both 1996 and 1997. With 46 goals and 36 assists, he completed his career atop the MVC's all-time list for points in a career with 128. His teams went a combined 62-18-5 and were an amazing 20-2-1 in MVC play.

    Torres also stayed busy in the community during his time at Creighton, volunteering his time with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, the Creighton Soccer Peanut Gallery, and Our Lady Hall of Guadalupe. For his impact on and off the field, he was also named the Omaha World Herald's Frederick Ware Memorial Award winner as the top collegiate athlete in the state. After earning his U.S. citizenship on Oct. 16, 1996, he was honored 11 days later as October 27, 1996 was proclaimed "Johnny Torres Day" by the Omaha City Council.

    The fifth overall pick in the 1998 Major League Soccer draft, Torres played four years with the New England Revolution, where he remained active in the community. He also had short stints with MLS teams in Miami and Chicago. Torres recently signed a three-year contract to play both indoor and outdoor for the Milwaukee Wave in the Major Indoor Soccer League.
   
2004 Jaybacker of the Year - Reynold S. Smith
     A 1970 graduate of Michigan State University, he founded Reynold S. Smith Marketing, Inc. in 1983. He built the business into an industry leader in the Nebraska-Iowa region before recently selling it to Advantage Sales and Marketing.

    Ren's support of Creighton Athletics over the years has been tireless. An inaugural supporter of the Student-Athlete Support Center and the Baseball Legends View Club, he also helped develop the Athletic Director Circle program. Ren is currently in the second season of a three-year term as President of the Jaybacker Executive Board. He also serves on the Creighton University Athletic Board and has served on the Baseball Executive Committee and numerous Bluejay Jamboree committees.

    In addition to his support of the Bluejays, Ren remains an active member of the community. He helped start the Nebraska Chapter of Make-A-Wish in 1983 and is past chairman of the River City Round Up and Rodeo and past president of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Councillors. Hešs been a member of the Children's Hospital Board of Trustees and the Hospital Foundation's Board of Directors. Ren is also a member of the Boy Scouts of America Mid-America Council Board of Trustees.

    Ren and his wife of 34 years, Stacie, have three children -- Heather, Courtney and Chase.


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