Sulphur Springs, TX— Two park units comprise Cooper Lake State Park – Doctors Creek and South Sulphur. This natural playground in Northeast Texas covers more than 3,000 acres of post oak forests, access to a 20,000-acre lake, swimming beaches, fishing piers, miles of multi-use trails, and so much more. To manage this, vast Texas State Park requires professional and dedicated park rangers. Our newest Ranger is Tony Smith. Tony will fill the position of Assistant Complex Superintendent with management duties across both park units.
Tony has over six years’ experience with Texas State Parks. He graduated from Tarleton State University with a Bachelor’s degree in History and returned later to earn a Master’s degree in History. While earning his degrees, Tony worked at the W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas museum in Thurber, Texas. His college focus was in Public History, and in one of his classes, he had a Park Ranger from Dinosaur Valley State Park as a guest speaker from who got him interested in working for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
His interest in History and Texas State Parks led him to research the Civilian Conservation Corps and the creation of Cleburne State Park as a semester project. Tony worked as a Summer Intern at Dinosaur Valley State Park. Some of his tasks were cleaning dinosaur tracks, educating guests about dinosaurs, and developing plans for a children’s interpretive trail. After graduating from college, he returned to Dinosaur Valley State Park as a Summer Clerk. Bastrop State Park promoted him to the Assistant Office Manager position.
For the last four and a half years, he has been the Office Manager & Volunteer Coordinator at Daingerfield State Park, where he learned about park operations’ different facets. All of this has prepared Tony to be a tremendous asset for Cooper Lake State Park and our local communities. Tony will lead the park’s educational programming, among other duties. Away from work, Tony enjoys hiking, exploring other State Parks, and playing games with his wife, Jennifer, and two sons, Viktor and Kaleb.