Scott Smith has been hired to teach and be the head coach of the Grundy County High School football team. Smith has been coaching and teaching for over 27 years. In 2001, he led Ezell-Harding Christian School in Antioch, to a TSSAA Single A state championship. Over the years, Coach Smith has taken five different teams to either the state playoffs or a post season bowl game.
Smith was named leader of the program after an almost four month search to fill the head coaching position. A committee of nine people appointed by Director of Schools Jessie Kinsey narrowed down the search to three final candidates in early January. At the request of school board members during the December board meeting, all three finalists for the coaching position were also licensed teachers in Tennessee. One of the three candidates, Brandon Eden, withdrew his name in January, citing family reasons. After the February board meeting, a second finalist for the position, Mike Ray, withdrew his application due to board meeting conduct and the athletic committee interview process. This series of applicant withdraws left Smith as the only remaining finalist for the head football coaching position.
Kinsey stated, “Although I was confident that all three finalists for the position were qualified and could have been successful, I am excited to have Coach Smith who is an experienced football coach and multi-credentialed teacher to lead our student athletes.”
“I am excited to be back in Middle Tennessee and being the head coach at Grundy County,” said Smith. “Last year, I decided to step away from head coaching and just to be an assistant coach, but found that my fire and passion was still there for being a head coach. My sole passion is to be a small part of taking and building on what the coaches before me have set in motion. Our goal is to field a competitive team that the community can be proud of. I am very familiar with the surrounding area and hope to be successful enough to retire there with a small cabin in the mountains.”
Smith’s coaching history includes Glencliff, Ezell Harding, Independence, Science Hill, Moore County, Warren County, and Franklin County. He was hired at Glencliff in January of 2017, and stepped down four months later. At the time, he stated health concerns as his reason for stepping down. He resigned after one year at Warren County to take a job at Franklin County.
In 2016, Smith was asked to resign from the Franklin County High School football program. An article on the TN High School Football website has the following quote from Smith:
“I was brought to the Principal’s Office and told in about 90 seconds that they wanted to go in a different direction. They claimed the main reason for my dismissal was because of lack of discipline and improper game management.”
On Tuesday, Smith told the Grundy County Herald, “I greatly enjoyed my time at Franklin County. I was hired by Principal Greg Mantooth and my wife and I planned on staying there a long time. There was a change in leadership at Franklin County and a new principal was brought in. He wanted a change in the football program and I was part of that change. My wife and I still have many friends and students that we miss interacting with on a daily basis.”
Smith also stated he hopes to schedule a game against Franklin County.
“I hope to be able to schedule a Franklin County varsity football game as soon as possible.”
In order for members of the Grundy County community to meet the new coach, GCHS will host coffee with Coach Smith on Wednesday, February 28th at 9:30 a.m. in the GCHS library.