Minnesota Lynx chief operating officer Conrad Smith died late Wednesday, January 16, after a three-year battle with brain cancer. He was 56. Smith spent nearly three decades working with for Minnesota sports teams.
On November 19, 2008, he became the Lynx’s COO. The team won the 2011 WNBA championship. With the Lynx, Smith oversaw ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, marketing, advertising and public relations.
“Conrad was a true professional in every sense of the word,” Wolves and Lynx owner Glen Taylor said in a statement. “It was Conrad’s leadership and passion that helped make the Lynx franchise a business success, and for many years he was integral to the growth and development of our Wolves corporate sales department.”
Prior to the Lynx, Smith spent 14 years with the Minnesota Timberwolves, serving in various roles, including vice president of business development and vice president of corporate sales and service. He also held sales positions with the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota North Stars and Minnesota Strikers.
“He was truly a pleasure to work with,” Lynx public relations manager Alex King said. “He was such a lively personality. Anyone who ever worked with him will tell you he’s one of the best to be around and to work with. It won’t be the same around the office without him.”
He is survived by his wife, Carla, and three children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Smith’s family and Lynx community.