Following his resignation as head football coach of Siuslaw’s football program this past June after a year at the helm, Chad Smith leaving Siuslaw altogether to take the head football position at Cottage Grove High School.
That means Siuslaw is once again in the hunt for a coach, this time for the Lady Vikings basketball program, which Smith had initially agreed to continue coaching.
Last Friday, Smith, 32, received the call from CGHS principal Kevin Herington offering him the position as both head coach and P.E. teacher at the high school.
“They’ve [the team] had success, which is obviously great, (but) they are great kids [at CGHS] as well — not just as athletes, but the kids are respectful,” Smith said in a phone interview on Thursday.
This will mark Smith’s fourth varsity head coaching position in Oregon since 2014. In 2014, Smith was the head coach at La Grande, where the team went (5-4). After being an assistant coach at Seaside in 2015, he was named head coach in 2016 and the team went 3-5.
In 2017, Smith served as an athletic director/PE coach at a Seattle-area middle school before last season, when he took over as head coach at Siuslaw High School, where he coached an underclassmen-dominated roster to an 0-8 season within the 3A division; Siuslaw, a 4A school, was given special classification by the OSAA last year to compete within the 3A for football.
Smith was also the school’s P.E. coach and girls’ basketball coach last year.
“It’s an excellent opportunity for me teaching wise and coaching wise,” Smith said of the move.
Siuslaw High School Athletic Director Chris Johnson said it was a move that made sense for Smith, on both a professional and personal level. “It’s a great program and, with his wife traveling back and forth to Eugene every day for school at the U of O, it will make things a lot easier on them both. I know he’ll do well there.”
In the meantime, Siuslaw’s search for a new head girls basketball coach has just begun, with the closing date for applications set for July 19, according to the school’s website. Salary is between $4,673 and $5,452 per season (Nov.18 through late February or early March 2020), based on experience.
The hiring of Smith marks the end of what had been an eventful offseason for Cottage Grove. In January, Gary Roberts stepped down after 11 seasons as head coach. Roberts then took a job as assistant principal at his alma mater Marshfield in Coos Bay. Then, in April, the Lions’ defensive coordinator, Jordan Johnson, was hired as head coach. But things took a turn at the start of June when Johnson abruptly resigned before coaching a game.
(—With additional reporting by Zach Silva/Cottage Grove Sentinel)