Smith and his family returned to his native Pickens County, S. C. last summer when he took a strength and conditioning teaching position at Easley High School - the main rival of his alma mater Pickens High (Class of 1997).
This past month, Smith, 31, got the second head coaching position of his young career when he was promoted to head football coach at Easley High.
Easley High is the county's largest school (approximately 1,600 students) and plays in the South Carolina High School League's Division 4-A in Region I. The school's colors are kelly green and white and the mascot in the Green Wave.
For the record, Easley has the lead in the series with Smith's old high school, 35-18-1. But the Blue Flames, Pickens' nickname, handed Easley a 37-17 loss last season. Easley was 1-10 last season and 0-11 the year before. Its last winning season was in 2006 (7-4).
Smith's athletic director Chris Carter had some simple advice for him.
"If you want to be happy for an hour, eat a steak. If you want to be happy for a day, play a round of golf. If you want to be happy for a week, go on a cruise. If you want to be happy for a month, buy a new car. If you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery.
“But if you want to be happy the rest of your life, beat Pickens every time you play them!"
Easley's principal did have some more good news for Smith just after he was announced as head coach. Like at Rocky Mount, Easley is having a new campus built - due to be opened in the fall of 2011. Ironically, it will cost almost the same amount - to the dollar - as RMHS' new digs - a hair under $38 million.
But budgetary issues had held up whether the new school would get a new football stadium. The principal, right after announcing him as head coach, gave him the good news that a new stadium will be built at the new campus.
Congrats Chad, Hannah, Hunter, Ashton and newborn Shepherd!