Smith resigns as ESJ coach

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 24, 2001


RESERVE – East St. John head boys’ basketball coach Randy Smith resigned recently after 14 years at the helm. East St. John has not opened up the position yet. Smith’s resignation is effective May 30. “It wasn’t as fruitful as I wanted it to be but I felt I did the best with what I had,” Smith said of his time with the Wildcats. Smith became the Wildcats head coach in 1988, replacing Greg Williams. Smith, East St. John’s third coach in three years at the time, had been an assistant at St. Amant from 1985-87. Smith said the highlights of his tenure were winning back-to-back River Parishes championships in the 1990s and reaching the Class 5A playoffs for the first time last year. East St. John went 17-12 in 1999-2000, falling to John F. Kennedy in the bi-district playoffs, 66-50. Among the wins was a three-overtime victory at home over eventual district champion Hahnville. But the Wildcats lost seven seniors from that team, making the 2000-01 season a rebuilding one. The Wildcats struggled to a 5-21 overall record and finished sixth in District 7-5A with a 2-10 mark. “It was a rebuilding year for us,” Smith said. “I knew we would take some bumps.” Smith coached a number of top players in his 14 years, including Cornell Francois and Clement Carter, now at Southern Mississippi. Smith said he thinks the team will be in good position next season with seven players projected to return. He feels at least three of those players could sign college scholarships. “I leave with the nucleus intact,” Smith said. “I want to thank the community and the people who supported us through the years.”