Smith Forced Out at Shades Valley

Brant Berry | PrepsNet

Irondale, AL – After leading the Mounties to three straight playoff appearances in four seasons in Irondale, Bill Smith is out.  Smith was given the option to resign or face termination as head football coach during a meeting with SVHS principal Mary Beth Blankenship late Monday afternoon.

Blankenship’s only comment was that the decision to move in a different direction involved a “personnel decision”.  She stopped short of elaborating on exactly what caused the decision to remove Smith.

Smith told’s Jeff Sentell that he  had no idea any of this was coming until he had a 3:20 meeting on Monday afternoon with Blankenship.  He added that Blankenship  said he was a “good and Godly man” but that the school “wanted to go in a different direction” with its football program.

Smith’s 26-19 record over four years has been the Mounties most successful stint since the resignation of coaching legend Robert Higginbotham in 1998.  Smith took over a once proud Shades Valley program which had not reached the post season since 2000 when the Mounties advanced to the third round and lost to eventual state champion Hoover.

This season Smith’s squad faced some late season adversity with the suspension of starting quarterback Rashad Louie, for a violation of school rules, a day before the Mounties were set to host the Arab Knights in the first round of the AHSAA playoffs.  Shades Valley shut out the Knights 34-0 without the aid of their first string signal caller.

Smith came to Shades Valley after spending two seasons as head coach at Crossville High School.  Before taking over at Crossville Smith had successful stints as an offensive coordinator and strength and conditioning coach at several programs in Alabama and Georgia.

With Smith’s record and reputation, he should not have a problem landing a head coaching position this off season.  Interest may begin coming his way sooner rather than later, in the Metro Area, Pelham, Thompson and Woodlawn are  already in the head coaching market.

North Alabama power, Deshler, and Mobile’s Mary Montgomery would be wish to give Mr. Smith a call.

Stay dialed to for updates as the coaching carousel keeps spinning.

Brant Berry is the Managing Editor for  Contact him at [email protected]

Photo courtesy of’s John Davis.