GNAC Insider Podcast: Harthun, Smith & Madison
Head coach Rob Smith is in his eighth year with Humboldt State, leading them to a 4-0 record to start 2015.
Head coach Rob Smith is in his eighth year with Humboldt State, leading them to a 4-0 record to start 2015.

Monday, October 5, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – GNAC Insider, the conference’s weekly radio show, aired on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Guests for the 69th episode were Alaska outside hitter Sam Harthun, Humboldt State head football coach Rob Smith and Western Washington hall of fame sports information director Paul Madison.

Harthun is a senior outside hitter for the Alaska volleyball team, which won its first two matches of the season this week. The Nanooks defeated Saint Martin’s in five sets and Seattle Pacific in four sets to earn the Red Lion Team of the Week award. Harthun continued her excellent season and career for Alaska, finishing with 35 kills between the two matches. She ranks second all-time in Alaska history with 1,274 kills, just 89 away from tying the program record and is also 12th in the GNAC all-time list. As a sophomore and junior, a two time First Team All-GNAC selection, Harthun is currently third in the conference in kills per set (3.47), fourth in total kills (177) and tied for sixth in service aces per set (0.37). Harthun spoke about entering her senior season with a new coach, the team's first wins of the season and closing in on the program kill record.

Smith is in his eighth year as head football coach at Humboldt State. The Lumberjacks are having one of their finest starts under Smith with a 4-0 overall record and a 2-0 conference mark. The ‘Jacks have outscored opponents 216-78 this season, riding an unstoppable offense and an improving defense to the strong start. In 2013, the ‘Jacks finished 0-11, but were immediately turned around with a GNAC record eight-game improvement in 2014 to finish second. This week, the ‘Jacks are ranked No. 11 in the American Football Coaches Association Top-25 Poll. On Saturday, they defeated South Dakota School of Mines 59-10. They will next host reigning conference champion Azusa Pacific, a team they already defeated 62-41 on the road in week two in non-conference play. Smith spoke about the incredible start to Humboldt State's season, the explosiveness of the offense and the expected atmosphere at the Redwood Bowl against Azusa Pacific on Saturday. 

Madison retired at the end of September after serving Western Washington as sports information director for 48 years. One of the most well-respected and longest tenured SIDs in the nation, Madison was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall of Fame in 2011. He was honored by the NAIA in 1993 with the Ike Pearson Award and WWU honored Madison with the Lynda Goodrich Legacy Award last month. A 1971 graduate of Western Washington (as part of the school’s first journalism class), Madison has served the profession as a college division representative on the CoSIDA Board of Directors, as an area representative on the executive committee of NAIA-SIDA and as past chair of the GNAC Sports Information Directors Committee. Madison spoke about his new role as historian, how athletics has changed since he began as an SID and his overall career at Western Washington.

GNAC Insider is hosted by Rob Lowery airing live at 7 p.m. Pacific every Tuesday and is produced by the conference office. All episodes become available as free podcasts via iTunes. To listen to archived episodes go to GNAC.TV.