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Unicoi's Smith steps down in basketball; Good takes over

Douglas Fritz • Updated Apr 8, 2019 at 5:39 PM

Michael Smith had a four-year run that included a sectional appearance, but he will have one less role at Unicoi County.

Smith resigned Monday as Unicoi County’s head basketball coach, but will remain as the school’s athletic director. John Good, formerly at David Crockett, took over Monday as the Blue Devils’ new head coach.

Unicoi County Director of Schools John English said a lot was asked of Smith over the years.

“He was assistant principal, athletic director, and drove a bus route in the morning and in the afternoon,” said English. “He has really been a Swiss Army Knife for us, coaching tennis, football, basketball. We really value what he has done. It was a lot to ask of anybody. He has given countless hours in all of his jobs.”

Smith said everything just came together at the right time.

“No question trying to do three jobs is a lot,” said Smith. “I felt like I did a good job on all three. But the time commitment and the chance to get Coach Good — who is great man and I respect him a lot — it was just a timing thing. He was able to come and willing to come, and it fell into place.”

Smith, who had an overall record of 83-79, will also remain on the basketball staff as an assistant coach. His first year as head coach was an interim position in 2012-13, and the Blue Devils went 14-14.

Smith took over the program from English, beginning with the 2016-17 season. The Blue Devils went 19-13 that year and followed it up with a 19-15 mark.

In 2018, the Blue Devils made it to the Class AA sectional round before getting bumped off by eventual state runner-up Knox Fulton. They finished 22-13.

Unicoi slipped to 9-24 this past season, but won five of six games late in the season and took Greeneville down to the wire in the region quarterfinals.

“Coach Smith’s team won the conference last year, but a lot of talent walked out the door,” said English. “I thought he had them playing as good as anybody at the end of the year. He did a phenomenal job at the end.”

English said Smith wanted to stay involved with basketball.

“Coach Good wanted Coach Smith to stay on,” said English. “He brings so much to the table from a coaching standpoint.”

As for Good, English said he believes Unicoi got the right man.

“Coach Good is someone we have had tremendous respect for as we have competed against him over the years,” said English. “I always admired how hard his kids played and how they conducted themselves on the court. That’s important. We are thrilled to have him lead our program.”

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