Robert "Firechief" Smith came to USCS in 1972 as a 34-year old center, hoping to jumpstart a struggling program and earn an education at the same time. Smith played basketball for current Hall of Fame member Dr. Joe Bowman and the Rifles from 1972-74, helping USCS to an overall record of 30-16 and the program's first two winning seasons. The 6'6" center was a force on the boards, averaging 8.9 rebounds on his way to team Most Valuable Player honors during the 1973-74 season. He was also named the MVP of the Palmetto Conference Tournament that year, as he led the Rifles to an upset Tournament championship over favored USC Aiken. The title was the first championship of any kind in the history of the program. Smith is retired and living in Spartanburg.