Smith steps down as Hawk boys basketball coach

5 years ago

HODGDON, Maine — Citing a desire to watch his daughter play basketball, a long-time coach of the Hodgdon boys program is calling it quits.

Rob Smith presented his resignation from the post of boys varsity basketball coach to the SAD 70 school board during their Monday, March 11, meeting.

“When I started coaching 12 years ago, I figured I would try to do it until Madison became a freshman,” Smith said, referring to his daughter. “I wanted to be able to watch her play basketball and any other sports. She’s a freshman next year, so I felt this was the time to step down.”

A resident of Hodgdon, Smith, 39, first got into coaching back in 2007 when he was hired as the junior varsity girls basketball coach working with head coach Olin Quint. He served as the girls junior varsity coach for two seasons and then spent one year as the junior varsity boys coach under Jerry Adams before taking over the boys varsity in 2010.

On Jan. 2, 2019, Smith collected his 100th career coaching victory on the basketball court.

Rob Smith holds a plaque he received for collecting his 100th coaching victory, which he achieved on Jan. 2, 2019. Smith stepped down as the Hodgdon boys basketball coach after 12 seasons with the club. (Courtesy of Rob Smith)

Hodgdon advanced to the postseason in seven of his 10 years as the varsity coach. The Hawks won the state Class D state championship in 2014 with a 54-46 victory over Valley of Bingham.

Smith has coached all three major sports — basketball, baseball and soccer — at Hodgdon High School at one point during his career. He plans to once again serve as the assistant baseball coach this spring.

He worked for 10 years for SAD 70, beginning as a substitute teacher and was later hired as an education technician for the district.

He became pastor of the Hodgdon United Baptist Church in 2016 and since then has juggled coaching basketball and his ministry.

Smith’s fondest memory of coaching, naturally, was guiding Hodgdon to the state championship in 2014 — not just because it involved winning the state title, but it also coincided with the birth of his son, Logan.

“Obviously, bringing back the gold ball, with that group of guys, was pretty special,” he said. “After having lost the year before in Bangor, to win that state title was sweet. Those are memories I will always carry with me.”

He said the decision to get done was not an easy one.

“Jen and I have been talking about it for the past couple of years,” Smith said, referring to his wife. “At the beginning of this season, it was tough to discuss, but as the season went on I knew.”

Smith said he had a discussion with Tim Tweedie, the assistant principal at Houlton Middle-High School who also has been the long-time varsity girls soccer coach on the subject of juggling increased family and work responsibilities with the pressures of coaching.

“Tim and I talked about how getting done coaching can not only allow so much more time to spend with your family, but also allow you to get more involved with your community,” Smith said. “After talking with him and my wife some more, I became more at ease with the idea of getting done.”

Although he is hanging up his coach’s whistle, for now, Smith said a return to coaching at some point down the line is not out of the question. For now, he plans to assist his wife with running the Hodgdon Sports Boosters program, selling concessions at basketball games, and also watching his daughter play as much as possible.

Smith, and his wife Jennifer have three children — Madison 13, Morgan 11, and Logan 5.