Sulphur Springs, TX— Cooper Lake State Park is comprised of two park units – 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 large 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, he worked at the W.K. Gordon Center for Industrial History of Texas museum in Thurber, Texas. His focus in college was in Public History and in one of his classes he had a park ranger from Dinosaur Valley State Park as 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 where some of his unique tasks were cleaning dinosaur tracks, educating guests about dinosaurs, and developing plans for a children’s interpretive trail. After graduating college, he returned to Dinosaur Valley State Park as a Summer Clerk. He was promoted to the Assistant Office Manager position at Bastrop State Park. For the last four and a half years, he has been the Office Manager & Volunteer Coordinator at Daingerfield State Park where he has been able to learn about the different facets of park operations. 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.