Conrad Smith ’78, who became the chief operating officer of the Minnesota Lynx, a WNBA team, has died after a reported three-year battle with brain cancer. He was 56.
“Conrad was a true professional in every sense of the word,” said Glen Taylor, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx. “It was Conrad’s leadership and passion that helped make the Lynx franchise a business success.”
Smith leaves behind his wife of 26 years, Carla; and their children, Tara, Brenton, and Christine. He died January 16 while surrounded by his family, according to a statement from the Minnesota Lynx.
Smith graduated from Emerson College with a speech and communications degree. He worked for nearly 30 years in professional sports in the Minneapolis area.
Since November 2008, he served as the Lynx COO, overseeing ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, marketing, and public relations, according to the team. Prior to that, Smith served as the Timberwolves’ vice president of new business development and corporate sales, helping further the development of the corporate sales department.
In college, Smith was active on Emerson’s soccer and basketball teams, was president of the Rho Delta Omega fraternity, and was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.
“Conrad was excellent at creating a personal connection with everyone he worked with, making him one of the most beloved members of our organization,” said Minnesota Lynx Executive Vice President Roger Griffith. “He will be incredibly missed.”