“I might as well tell you folks now,” Smith said. “This is a small town and word travels fast. I’m a Pickens High School graduate. I played for the Blue Flame. There was a time that if you cut me, the blood would have come out blue I’m sure.”
Smith’s confession went further.
“And a year ago, when the job at Pickens High School was open, I applied for that job and they turned me down,” Smith said.
The job was open after the resignation of Brett Turner. Pickens officials decided to promote assistant coach Chad Seaborn instead of hiring someone from outside of the staff.
Smith believes in pre-destination.
“I guess that wasn’t the opportunity that God had in mind for me,” Smith said.
Instead Smith was accepted as the strength and conditioning coach at Easley High School. A few months into last season, Easley coach Jabo Burgess let Smith know that he intended to resign at the end of the regular schedule.
Burgess felt he had done all he could with the Easley program and owed it to the players to step aside and allow somebody else the opportunity to lead the Green Wave.
“I got to thinking then,” Smith said. “Maybe this was the opportunity that God had in mind for me.”
Smith was hired to replace Burgess.
“I can’t tell you what that means to me,” Smith said. “It means my children have a chance to grow up just a few miles away from their grandparents, and that means the world to me for starters.”
Smith said he holds no bitterness over not being picked for the Pickens position.
“God is in control, and He knew that the timing wasn’t right for me,” Smith said. “I like Coach Seaborn, and I wish him well. I hope the Blue Flame win every week except when they play us.”
Smith said loyalty is not a problem.
“You can’t work with these young men, and see their work, and not want to do everything you can to help them be successful, both on the football field, but more importantly, in life in general,” Smith said. “These guys are working hard to make Easley proud.”