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Published: Thursday, 12/4/2008

UT standout in basketball started firm for software

Larry Smith, a former captain of the University of Toledo Rockets basketball team and a software entrepreneur, died yesterday in his home in Longboat Key, Fla. He was 60.

He suffered from pancreatic cancer for about a year, according to his brother Randy Smith.

Bob Nichols, the "winningest" men's basketball coach at UT and in Mid-American Conference history, remembered his former player at the opening of the newly renovated Savage Arena last night.

"He was one of my all-time favorites. He never stopped running. He was one of the best-conditioned athletes I ever had. He was an overachiever on the basketball court," he said.

Mr. Nichols made his remarks just before a pregame ceremony dedicating "Bob Nichols Court" in his honor.

Mr. Smith attended UT on a basketball scholarship, graduating in 1970. He grew up in Flint, Mich., where he graduated from Holy Redeemer High School in 1966 and was an All-State athlete in football, basketball, and track, his brother said.

Mr. Smith graduated from UT with a degree in business administration and, in 1982, co-founded the Shared Logic Group Inc. in Springfield Township. The firm specializes in developing software programs for the scrap recycling industry.

In a Blade article in 2000, Mr. Smith explained that recycling companies have their own quirks that make off-the-shelf software unacceptable. Shared Logic found a niche, he said.

"We didn't fear IBM or someone like that coming in because it's too small an industry," he said. "We've never looked at it like we were the only ones doing this, but we were there first and we were doing it well."

Randy Smith called his brother "a very strong business person." At Shared Logic, "his skills were on the business side rather than the engineering side."

Mr. Smith sold his home in Monclova Township in 2007 and moved to Longboat Key, which is just north of Sarasota on the Florida Gulf Coast. He continued to serve on the board of Shared Logic, his brother said.

Surviving are his wife of 30 years, Mary; daughter, Hillary Smith; mother, Geraldine Smith; brothers, Randy and Kenny, and sisters, Sharon Ahearne, Lori Morrison, and Elaine Bussiere.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Dec. 12 in St. Martha's Catholic Church, Sarasota. Arrangements are by the Toale Brothers Funeral Home, Colonial Chapel, Sarasota.



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