Smith stepping away, again
After coaching off and on since 1959, Rifle girls basketball coach Jack Smith is throwing in the towel.Again.Smith said he decided to retire for personal reasons.”It’s a number of things – just personal things that I felt I needed to take care of and I couldn’t put enough time into both,” Smith said. The 70-year-old coach has been in and out of retirement before and returned to the bench in the past because the Rifle basketball teams were in a bind and needed a coach. Smith was the one Rifle always turned to and as his wife said, “He always wanted to do it.”Smith isn’t sure if this one will be permanent either.”I don’t know,” Smith said on the possibility of coming out of retirement again. “I’ve had a lot of great experiences in a lot of years.”Smith said there would be a greater probability of coming back to coach at the junior varsity or freshmen levels instead of as a head coach.”There’s a lot more that goes into it than there was 25 years ago,” Smith said of the administrative duties involved with head coaching. “You actually get to do more coaching with freshmen and JV, and that is the part that I love.” If this is the end of his long coaching career, it ended on a high note, as his 2005-06 squad finished the season with a 9-5 Western Slope League record and a 13-11 overall mark. He led the Bears to the playoffs, in which they beat Mesa Ridge 67-61 in the first round. Rifle was then knocked out in the second round by Mullen, who went on to win the state title.Smith is now the third area girls basketball head coach to step down from the position. Deb Henderson will no longer be coaching Glenwood Springs and Jacky Gaddis will no longer be at the helm of the Coal Ridge team. All three positions have yet to be filled.
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