Smith leaves Tide for PRC
By CURTIS ROCKWELL
Item Sports Editor
CARRIERE — Picayune football assistant coach Seth Smith is leaving his post as defensive coordinator for the Maroon Tide and taking the same position at arch-rival Pearl River Central.
Smith’s move was approved by the PRC School Board Monday night and he hit the practice field with the Blue Devils for off-season workouts Tuesday.
“It’s time for me to embark on a new challenge,” Smith, who was a member of the Maroon Tide staff for the past five seasons and served as the defensive coordinator for the past two years, said. “I have never been one to back down from a challenge, and this will be a big one. But I am looking forward to coming back home. I think it will be fun and I hope I can have a positive impact on the players and the coaching staff.”
Smith is a former PRC player, and is following a similar path that Blue Devils head coach jeremy Weir took. Weir, also a former PRC standout, was the defensive coordinator at Poplarville before taking the helm of the Blue Devils three years ago.
Smith was part of a staff that won 30 games and lost just six the past three years at Picayune. Pearl River Central has managed just a 7-22 mark over that same span.
“It’s a really good hire for us,” Weir said. “He brings a lot of knowledge and excitement to our program, and he has been part of a successful program so we are looking forward to him joining us. It’s always good to get some new blood in there and get a new perspective on things.”
Smith will also be leaving the employment of his father-in-law, Picayune head coach Dodd Lee.
“We hate to lose him,” Lee added. “But I understand his reasons for wanting to move on. I think he will be successful no matter what he chooses to do and we hope he does well.”
“Getting to work for coach Lee for five years was a great experience, and I will always be thankful to him that he gave me that opportunity,” Smith said. “I think it’s just time to spread my wings and see what I can do somewhere else. I think I can take what I have learned at Picayune and help another team become successful. But I have nothing but positive things to say about Picayune and the people there. They were very good to me and my family.”
Smith is joining the PRC staff at the same time the Blue Devils are losing an assistant as Jud Necaise stepped down from his post as offensive line coach on Monday also.
Lee has elevated Walt Esslinger to the defensive coordinator position to replace Smith.
He also said that the Tide may add another coach to the staff before fall practice begins but he wasn’t sure whether that would happen or not.