BY ADIEL DE JESUS

BY ADIEL DE JESUS

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For the past three decades, Hans Peter Smit has been a fixture figure of DLSU and other La Salle schools through his prominent contributions particularly in the football program of the university. Aside from coaching, he has also served various positions in different La Salle schools in the country.

More than just football, the 60 year old mentor has also given his ample knowledge to improve the Lasallian sports community as a whole. As the athletic director of De La Salle Santiago Zobel then, Smit has a huge part in coming up with certain standards for the institution’s sports endeavors.

Early Years of Football

Football is not Hans Smit’s game. He admitted starting to play basketball in his early years but at some twist of fate, he was led to the world of football where he became one of the brightest spots of the sport in the country.

Numerous victories

As a player, as a coach, and as any capacity he has served, Smit has fought through a lot of battles and experienced to be both a loser and a winner. But believe it or not, Smit does not value his trophies but instead he values the lessons learned in every defeat.

When you ask him how many championships he won, he honestly does not know. It’s not because that he could not count it because of numerous victories but instead he really does not want to count it for a simple reason.

“Trivial things is not important to me that’s why I don’t know how many championships I’ve won from La Salle, or like De La Salle Zobel or for the Philippines as well,” shared Smit.

Unique Standpoint

“I’m too brutally frank and honest so what people want from me, they get it straight (and) not what they read in the papers,” described Hans Smit on what he is.

Truly, Smit is one of the few who choose to stand on a different platform. You may hear him curse his players a lot but as for him, he just want to get things straight to the point. Smit does not want those flowery words to state things. If you do not know him, you may be shocked on how he deal with things. Putting it into perspective, it could be seen how Smit has his own ideals and principles that could not be changed just because of different circumstances.

“I’m different, I’m alone,” quipped Smit on how he think he is.

A Coach of Life

Started teaching what he love at age 21, (the youngest football coach in the history of Philippine Football) Smit has trained numerous athletes under his wings. He is credited for starting the Varsity Football program for De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ) in Alabang. He believes on not focusing much on the technical of the sport but instead teaching his players what life really is.
“I treat my players and I keep them like my own kids not like robots, I hate robots. This is sort of growing up,” shared Smit as he adds that he is ‘A coach of life’.

Just recently, Smit propelled the DLSU Men’s Football team to the Finals once more after a 10-year absence. More than just being a coach of life, Smit truly has what it takes to build a winner out of a team. He based his coaching principles from his own life principles that could prepare his players for the real world.

“I’m too brutally frank and honest so what people want from me, they get it straight (and) not what they read in the papers,”

“Every single mistake that they do, one simple word mistake that they say, I correct it. That’s me. That’s why I want them to be some sort of perfect, which is impossible. But something to be perfect you know, that’s how to teach them how to learn, cause when I was growing up I did not just accept what the teachers or the coaches trying to do, I try to analyze,” shared Smit while also citing that he tries to get a background of each of his players to know how to deal with them.

Winning is a given thing for coaching as for Smit but what he value more are not the championships he could win with his players but instead how they would face the real world after football – this is how Hans Smit coaches.

The La Salle Hall of Fame

On April 24, 2015, Hans Smit was finally inducted in the La Salle Hall of Famr in the field of sports. While many feel that this is “long overdue” but still, Smit considers the award to be too early for him despite his 35-year of service for the Lasallian sports community.

“It’s a good thing that I’m being acknowledge on something that I’ve done but it never interests me, it never crossed my mind that this will happen, to be awarded agad. To be recognized as such, it’s a very big honor considering the company I have.” quipped Smit stating how he humbly accepts it and how honored he is to be lined up with names who are known in the Southeast Asia.

Being inducted in the hall of fame, retirement may cross the minds of people following Smit’s career but not in Smit’s mind as he ends, “ I don’t see myself retiring in years to come I don’t know. As long as I can still stand up, I can still walk, I can still pick a ball, I can still teach, I will still coach.”

Here's what other people say about Coach Hans Smit

“Hans is one of the most respectful people I know. He treats people as persons. This was once again confirmed when on one occasion, in one of my classes at DLSU many years ago, I was talking informally to some students in a huddle, when the topic of the girls' varsity football team came up. Up until then, I did not know that one of them was in the team. She did not know either that Hans was my friend. What she then said of Hans made me so proud of him as my batch mate: for all that gruff exterior, the girls on that team respected him as a father, and had the highest respect for him as a professional coach, mentor, occasional counsellor and very caring guardian. He was definitely admired by many young people whose lives he touched through the years.”

Br. Mawel Pajarillo FSC
LSGH 77 batch mate​
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“He's a tough cookie on the outside but very compassionate on the inside. Hans is a dependable friend to all and passionate coach and mentor to all athletes. He may be rough on the outside but La Salle is all the better because he is around”

Edwin C. Reyes
Executive Director DLSU Advancement and Alumni Affairs Office
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“Coach Hans Smit is the type of coach who will break you but will make you the best person you can be both in and out of the team”

Gio Diamante
DLSU Men’s Football Team Captain
UAAP Season 75, 76 and 77
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“Coach Hans will always bring out the best in his players and teaches us to never give up and chase our dreams because he himself never gives up on each and every one of us. That is when we realized that coach is composed of three personalities… he is our friend, our coach and our father. We are very proud of him. Forever HPS babies”

Meryll Ledesma
DLSU Womens’ Football Team Captain
UAAP Season 77
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“Long hair, tattoos and a heavy smoker. Probably the complete opposite of what you might think a football coach would be. His anger and constant shouting is misunderstood for his passion for the game and his desire to win. He is not only a coach, but a friend, a mentor and your second father. He pushes you to your limits so you can be the best you can be”

Matt Nierras
DLSU Men’s Football Team Captain
UAAP Season 77
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