Former Notre Dame hockey coach Smith dies at 81

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Former Notre Dame hockey coach Charles "Lefty" Smith, who started the school's hockey program in 1968, has died. He was 81.

The university said he died Tuesday of natural causes at his home in South Bend, Ind.

Smith compiled a 307-320-30 record in 19 seasons from 1968-1987, including runner-up finishes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) in 1973 and 1977. He was selected the WCHA Coach of the Year in 1973 and coached six All-Americans during his career.

After coaching, Smith became the facilities manager at the school's Loftus Sports Center and remained in that role until he retired last month. He had been the athletic department's longest-tenured employee at the time of his retirement. A new hockey rink was named for him last fall.