CLEVELAND, Tenn. - After taking a year off for health reasons, Kent Smith officially resigned Monday afternoon as Bradley Central High School's boys' basketball coach.
"You have to have the passion to be there," Smith said. "After a while, it just wasn't there for me. I didn't have that edge anymore, and that's something you can't fake."
Smith compiled a 436-145 record in 17 seasons at the helm of the Bradley program. He took the Bears to five state tournaments, with runner-up finishes in 2000 and 2003 and two other times in the state semifinals. He coached one TSSAA Mr. Basketball winner -- Josh Hare -- in 2000, and Justin Hare in 2004 and Terrence Oglesby in 2007 were finalists.
Smith coached six players who signed NCAA Division I scholarships and numerous others who went on to play at various other levels.
Chuck Clark, who coached the team on an interim basis this season and guided the Bears to a 16-12 record, will take over as the full-time head coach. Smith said he still will teach at the school and help the basketball team on a volunteer basis.
"My goal for the program was for us to be a part of the conversation, statewide," Smith said. "I wanted making the state tournament to be the expectation here and not a hope. From day one, when you played for Bradley, you knew the expectations were to be in Murfreesboro every year.
"I told the team today that I'm not going to be the day-to-day guy anymore. I'm going to be here to wrap my arm around them and be both a counselor and a confidant."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.