Boyle's Smith accepts coaching position at UK

December 20, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Chuck Smith built Boyle County into one of the state's premier high school programs by winning five straight state championships from 1999-2003 and taking the Rebels to six straight state title games.

Now he'll try to help instill that same winning formula into the University of Kentucky football program after he accepted an offer Monday to join coach Rich Brooks' staff as linebacker coach.

"I was kind of stunned and shocked a little bit when he called to tell me the news," said Boyle junior linebacker Andrew Bertram. "But when an opportunity like this comes along, you have to take it. It's an honor to think that the coach we will be watching at Kentucky next year coached us, too."

Brooks interviewed Smith, a former UK linebacker, Saturday. Earlier Monday the Kentucky coach called coaches Bob Sphire of Lexington Catholic and Bret Burnett of Elizabethtown to tell them he did not have spots for them on his staff. However, late Monday afternoon, Brooks called Smith to offer him the job and Smith quickly accepted.


Smith is in western Kentucky watching his son, Brandon, play basketball and could not be reached for comment. However, he called Boyle athletics director Jim Spears with the news he was resigning at Boyle and going to Kentucky.

"I always hoped I could retire before I would have to deal with this," Spears said. "I've known him as a friend and coaching colleague. I am excited for him and know he will be an asset to coach Brooks' staff. He will be sadly missed here. We all knew this day would come because of the huge impact he made on Kentucky football."

Danville coach Sam Harp has competed against Smith since 1992 when Smith arrived at Boyle. Harp has no doubts that Kentucky has made a wise hire.

"I think if you can coach, you can coach on any level and Chuck Smith can flat out coach," Harp said. "I think it is a good thing to hire a former player and keep it in the family so to speak. Kentucky football means a great deal to him and he'll put all the work he possibly can into the program. I thought this would be a really good job for him and I am happy they gave him this opportunity."

So is Chris Pardue, Boyle's offensive coordinator. He has worked 13 years with Smith while Boyle compiled a a 142-33 record and won 10 or more games nine of the last 10 seasons.

"I think it is a great opportunity for him. He's worked hard for this and will do a great job," Pardue said. "He takes a lot of pride in Kentucky football because he played for them."

Brooks could not be reached for comment and Kentucky officials said no immediate announcement was planned concerning any football matters.

See Tuesday's The Advocate-Messenger for additional information on Smith's move to Kentucky and what this will mean for Boyle County.

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