Published: Nov 30, 2011 02:00 AM
Modified: Nov 28, 2011 05:45 PM
Jeff Smouse laughed when he said that he was the winningest coach at Athens Drive High and also the losingest coach.
He doesn't plan to add to either the win total or the loss total, having resigned last week as a coach and as a teacher effective at the end of this semester.
Smouse had a 45-39 overall record in seven seasons and led the program to three of the school's finest seasons, 9-2 record in 2006, 11-2 in 2007 and 9-4 in 2009.
In the six seasons before he arrived, the school had won two or fewer games each season.
Smouse left Lumberton High to come to Athens, which was struggling. He came with a five-year plan.
"I actually stayed a little longer than I planned," Smouse said. "We haven't been where I wanted the last couple of years as far as wins and losses, but I think the kids always made a good effort."
Smouse, 61, said he isn't ruling out coaching again, but he didn't think he would return to the classroom.
"I've coached for 40 seasons and enjoyed every one of them," he said. "The kids still stay in touch."
Before going to Athens, Smouse was head coach in Michigan for two years, at Greensboro Grimsley for 15 years and for six years in Lumberton.
He had been an assistant coach for 10 years before getting his first head coaching job.
"I think the program is in better shape now than it was when I got here," he said. "We're in good shape with our equipment, we've got a lot of young players coming back next year and the staff has been built up."
Smouse commuted from Lumberton during his first season at Athens, but later moved to Sanford, which is about halfway between Athens and his wife's job at Harnett Central.