Smith resigns from Viking football helm


Departure will mark the third new coach in four seasons for the program.

June 5, 2019 — After more than 50 years of stability under the helm of just two coaches — Len Lutero and Tim Dodson — the Siuslaw football program has seen two different coaches in the last two years.

Now, there’s a third (as yet unnamed) on the horizon for this fall with the resignation of head coach Chad Smith on Monday.

By that afternoon, the position had been posted online with an application deadline set for this Friday — a four-day turnaround that underscores the notion that Smith resignation was unexpected.

The listing, which still references the Far West League though Siuslaw football began has playing down a classification in the 3A Special District 2 last season, requests that applicants “...possess a strong fundamental knowledge of football” with the goal of “[building and sustaining] a competitive and fulfilling program for everyone involved in the program.”

Yesterday, assistant coaches Bob Teter and Jerry Fleming held an informational meeting for players during lunch to explain the new schedule for summer workouts and answer players’ questions.

“We were caught off guard but right now we want the players to know there’s a plan for the summer to prepare for fall,” said Teter prior to the meeting.

Though specifics for Smith’s sudden resignation weren’t given, a statement released on the program’s Facebook page explained that “the program at SHS is moving in another direction” and that “A varsity head coach is no easy task, with challenges coming from all directions.

“We thank coach Smith for all his hard work, his dedication and efforts to improving the lives of his players and for his passion for the game of football.”

In an email The Siuslaw News, Smith said that he is willing to “bring the new coach up to speed and help them in any way I can.”

Smith, who is also one of the high school’s physical education teachers and varsity girls basketball coach, will be continuing those positions in the fall.   

“I look forward to watching the program succeed in the future,” Smith added in his email.

Prior to Siuslaw, Smith had been head coach at LaGrande (2014), leading the team to the state play-offs, and also for a season at Seaside (2016).

Prior to Smith, the Viks had been coached by Jamin Pool from 2016 through 2017, picking up the program from Dodson, who retired in 2015 after a 6-3 season and run at a state play-off berth.

Since 2016, Siuslaw has been 3-21, including 0-8 last season after dropping to the 3A division from the 4A Sky-Em League (which Siuslaw’s other sports programs continue to compete in.)

Siuslaw’s Athletic Director Chris Johnson and Principal Kerri Tatum were working on a public statement Tuesday but it was unavailable at press time.

This story will be updated online as that and other information becomes available.

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