Okeechobee coach Smith resigns after spring

Okeechobee High School football coach Ty Smith is stepping down in late spring and will move to Illinois to be closer to his family.

Smith informed the school administration of his decision on Monday and briefed the team after Tuesday’s practice.

Ty smith

“There has been speculation because people have seen my house for sale,” Smith said. “I finally told them (Tuesday). It was hard to watch some of them because my senior group is coming in this year. I remember sitting with them when they were in eighth and I told them that we would do whatever we can to make them the best men and football players they can be here at Okeechobee High School.

“I told them it’s like we always say, he’s the next player. Football will always be played on Friday nights at Okeechobee High School without me.”

Smith, who has been coaching the school for 18 years, went 7-22 in three seasons as a football head coach. He guided Okeechobee to a 5-4 record in 2020. It was the program’s first winning season since 2016.

“Looking at where we were at and where we’re coming from, it’s tough,” Smith said. “It’s like, ‘Oh man, another year.’ But it is time. It’s time. My wife and I about 11 years ago were thinking about moving and we just kept putting it off. This is the year. We cannot keep putting it off. “

Smith said he would complete spring training with the team before retiring from the program. The Brahmins were due to face Lakeland-George Jenkins on Friday in the spring game, but Smith said the game was called off due to COVID-19 concerns at George Jenkins.

Okeechobee athletic director Kenny Buckner said the school has yet to determine whether an interim coach will be appointed after Smith leaves the program.

In addition to coaching football, Smith also coached girls’ softball, track and field, flag football and weightlifting during his nearly two-decade run at Okeechobee.

“It’s a sad day for our athletics department,” Buckner said. “He has been here for 18 years and has been our head football coach for the past three years. He will be missed.”


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