Ex-Washington coach honored by NCHSAA

Published 3:08 pm Tuesday, January 14, 2014

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Former Washington high school basketball, football, tennis and baseball coach Dave Smith was honored by the NCHSAA on Saturday as one of the top-100 coaches of the centennial.

Smith, who was chosen for the award last summer, received a golden medallion and watch in the ceremony taking place at the Embassy Suites in Cary.

“I thought it was real neat because this is a centennial,” said Smith. “If you just took Beaufort County alone there’s been thousands of coaches, female and male. Now, just think all over North Carolina and how many there have been. To be selected in the top-100, I thought that was real neat.”

Smith served as a head coach at PS Jones High School from 1957-1968 and a head coach at Washington High School from 1972-1991, coaching football, basketball and tennis over the course of his tenure.

The 2004 NCHSAA Hall of Fame inductee strung together a 520-233 record in 753 varsity high school games, coached the 1961-1962 boys doubles national championship at PS Jones High School and was named a Beaufort County Outstanding Coach of the Decade in 1980.

He’s won nine conference titles, six conference tournaments and two 3A state titles. From 1977-1979, the Washington basketball team went on a 56-game winning streak, a feat that was the nation’s longest at the time.

“I’m a stickler for fundamentals and conditioning. Those two things, I think some of the kids here would probably quit if I still coached today,” said Smith. “I believe in adjusting my program to suit the personnel. I’ve gotten really good responses from the people who I have coached throughout the years.”

While piecing together what has been a remarkable career as a coach, Smith record as an educator is perhaps even more impressive. In 34 years of teaching, Smith never missed a day. That’s 6120 days of perfect attendance.

“The good lord just blessed me. I’ll admit, there were some days I didn’t particularly feel that good, but I went in anyway. I was just fortunate to never miss a day.

Despite playing college baseball, basketball and football in college, he would never play in a professional game due to injury, but he has little regret.

“I always thought I’d either play professional baseball or football or both, which I could,” said Smith. “My first two years in high school I was undefeated in baseball. I lost one game my junior year and one my senior year. I regret I had an injury, but I’d do it all over again if I had to. I’d do it the same way.”

“My biggest joy is coaching youngsters and being able to see them mature and develop into productive citizens in their communities.”