At every school he served as coach, Milburn "Catfish" Smith transformed his teams into winners. As a basketball coach at Carey High School, Smith took his team to the state championship in his second year (1937). After World War II, Smith coached football and basketball at Mount Vernon High School. His football teams went 60-5-1 and won six consecutive district titles. His basketball teams won 163 games against 17 defeats. He later served as head football coach at East Texas State for three years and had a 29 game winning streak. In 1958, his last season at East Texas, he was named College Coach of the Year by the Texas Sports Writers Association. He later became the freshmen football coach at Baylor University and was eventually appointed Baylor's athletics promotion director and executive director of the Baylor Bear Club. Smith was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.