PRCC’s new football coach ‘blessed’ to be back home

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 7, 2019

A person’s roots in a community can’t be changed.

They’re sown in so deep that decades can pass and the place of a person’s upbringing will still remain at the forefront of their mind as where home truly is.

For Seth Smith, that home has always been Pearl River County and the Pearl River Community College.

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That’s why after years away while establishing himself as a premier high school football coach, Smith decided to return where he belonged and take the job as the head football coach for the Wildcats.

Smith’s journey has seen him make coaching stops at Picayune Memorial High School, Pearl River Central High School and East Central High School before finally returning to PRCC.

Never before has Smith coached on the collegiate level, but that doesn’t mean Smith is lacking confidence in his ability to turn the program around.

“My theory is football is football from pee wee to the NFL. You do things a certain way, create the right culture, play the right way and we believe we can be successful anywhere,” Smith said.

Recruiting is a big part of the job when it comes to college football and Smith will want to bring in his own players.

However, he said all the returning players on the roster would be given opportunities to prove themselves.

“Honestly every kid coming back from last year is going to have a clean slate because everybody coaches different,” Smith said.

While his job has many facets, the most important ones are making sure the players are growing on and off the field, he said.

Football is a sport of lessons, which can translate to real life.

Smith wants to make sure he has the same impact on the athletes he coaches that his coaches had on him when he played at PRCC. “You do it not just to help the young man become a better football player, but also to help them become a better person. I want to give them some life skills and some tools necessary to go on and be successful,” Smith said.

At the end of the day Smith knows a good football player when he sees one.

Athletes who are coachable and give great effort are two priorities for Smith when analyzing a recruit.

The entire nation has athletes who can be recruited to play for PRCC, but Smith said retaining local talent will be key.

In the past, Wildcat teams were successful when they added talent from nearby counties and that focus on athletes close to campus is something Smith wants to return to.

“If we can do a good job of trying to go back and dominate our district, then hopefully we can get back to winning,” Smith said.

East Central High School, the place Smith left to join PRCC, was a perennial powerhouse once Smith took over.

There weren’t plans to move anytime soon and Smith said he intended on coaching his children when they started their high school careers. However, the calling of going back to his roots inspired Smith to take the job as PRCC’s new head coach.

After spending formative years in the community and learning how to be a man Smith couldn’t say no to a chance like this.

His roots were too deep.

“There’s a tremendous amount of reward involved when you go to a community, a school, a town, and you have a hand in reestablishing something that once was. The joys of being a part of that reestablishment you can’t put a price tag on it,” Smith said.