Smothers leaves Georgiana after three years as coach

Published 3:04 pm Monday, March 22, 2010

Shane Smothers is trading BCMS blue for Lawrence County red.

Smothers, who has been football coach for three years at Butler County Magnet School, has accepted an offer to become head coach of the Lawrence County Red Devils in Moulton.

Smothers made his decision this weekend after the Lawrence County Board of Education approved his hiring on Thursday.

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“People who know me know I’m a man of faith and right now I feel the Lord is telling me we need to be in Lawrence County,” said Smothers. “It’s been an extremely difficult decision, because we have a lot of friends here in Butler County, but I feel this is the best decision for me and my family.”

Smothers went 15-18 as the Panthers’ head coach. He also coached at McKenzie from 2001-03.

Smothers said he knows coaching at Lawrence County will be a challenge. Smothers will be the Red Devils’ fifth head coach since 2000. Lawrence County has posted a 41-65 record since that time and just three winning seasons. The Red Devils have only been to the playoffs six times in its history and are moving up to Class 5A next year which means the team will have to face traditionally strong programs like Russellville, Muscle Shoals, Athens and Hartselle.

But Smothers said the commitment he’s received from school administrators, parents and the athletic club is “phenomenal.” All have taken immediate interest in the program’s future under Smothers, contacting him and asking what they could do to help, he said. Smothers said he talked to his old high school coach, Mike Bates, who coached one year at Lawrence County in 1987 before moving to Curry High School, about the job. Bates won a state title in 2007 at St. Paul’s of Mobile.

“Coach Bates told me in all of the years he had coached, that one year in Lawrence County was the most fun he’d ever had,” said Smothers. “He said those people in Lawrence County will get out and work to help you, win or lose.”

Smothers said he didn’t plan on coming to Georgiana to stay only three years.

“When we came, we came to put down roots, so that’s disappointing,” he said. “But we’re looking forward to building a program in Lawrence County.”

Smothers will replace Dirk Strunk, who resigned.