National High School Coaches Association

Ray Smith Bio

Retired US Navy Admiral
31 years as a Navy SEAL


Widely regarded as one of the Navy's most inspirational leaders, Rear Admiral Smith has spoken on his leadership experiences to a wide range of audiences including corporate, political, military, and civic leaders. His Navy SEAL stories based on his personal experiences are extremely popular to the listen audience.


A Navy SEAL for 31 years, he achieved extraordinary success through focused, participatory leadership. During his four-year tenure as Commander of the 2300-men SEAL force, he raised personnel retention to a level three times the Navy average.


As a Navy Captain, he led the Navy SEAL in Operation Desert Storm, conducting over 200 operations of strategic significance while incurring no casualties. Earlier in his career, Admiral Smith directed Navy SEAL training, generally considered to be the most challenging military training in the world.


Admiral Smith has been recognized in Newsweek, Fortune, Reader's Digest, Discovery Channel, History Channel, and CBS This Morning. He published two highly successful Navy SEAL manuals on nutrition and fitness. He was awarded the California Distinguished Service Award while a member of the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.


Admiral Smith was responsible for developing the Navy's first capability-based assessment process. He led 100 systems analysts in providing service-level recommendations directly to the Chief of Naval Operations. Incorporating computer modeling and risk assessment, he provided Navy leadership with $36 billion in analysis-based savings.


Admiral Smith holds a Master of Science degree in Physical Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy. Admiral Smith successfully completed the 350-mile Beast of the East Adventure Race in 1998 and 1999.


Admiral Smith is well known throughout the country as a Performance Coach and has the ability to convey his message in a very effective manner that gets results.