Photo By: Courtesy of Mountain View High
Shelley Smith officially takes over as Mountain View High athletic director July 1.
Shelley Smith’s official start date is July 1, but he couldn’t wait that long to embark on his new job – or jobs – at Mountain View High.
The new athletic director, head football coach and physical education teacher has been hard at work since school let out for the summer.
“I’m here every day,” Smith said last week. “I’m getting a head start, because there’s a lot to do. It doesn’t do any good to wait.”
Hired May 6, Smith replaces John Payne and Toure Carter, who resigned as athletic director and football coach, respectively, early in the spring.
Smith said he has nearly assembled his football staff, needing only a skills-position assistant for the frosh-soph squad. He retained three varsity assistants, promoting Bobby Johnson to defensive coordinator (Smith will run the offense).
Smith hired a familiar face as frosh-soph coach. He and Bryan Raisch went to school together and both coached at Saratoga High in recent years. Smith coached running backs and served as defensive coordinator at Saratoga last season. The Saratoga resident has 11 years of coaching experience.
While Smith nearly has all the coaches he needs for football, vacancies remain for other sports at the school. Smith seeks varsity head coaches for cross-country and baseball.
“We have a lot of very good candidates for baseball, but we’re in no big hurry – it’s a spring sport,” he said. “But we need to give more attention to cross-country and find someone soon because it’s a fall sport.”
Smith’s other mission is to get more players out for football. At last week’s offseason workouts, Smith said he counted only 65 players – varsity and frosh-soph combined.
“That’s not a lot of numbers, but we’ll get there,” he said. “My goal is to get 120 in the next few years. There’s no reason we can’t reach that goal at a school this size.”
As for the players he does have, Smith had no complaints.
“I love the kids here,” he said. “It’s a good group.”
Smith conceded that turning around the varsity football team – the Spartans went 3-7 last year – “won’t happen overnight,” but he’s hopeful it can be done.
“It’s a process,” Smith said. “We’re planting a lot of seeds right now.”
Smith asked all the returning players to fill out a questionnaire, then sat down with many of them “just to talk,” he said.