Smith decides to call it a career at Hinds|College football

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 6, 2008

J. Mike Smith said the decision to step down as Hinds Community College head football coach was totally his own.

Smith resigned after six seasons at Hinds. He was 30-26, including a 1-8 mark this season after the Eagles were assessed two forfeit losses after having played an ineligible player.

“After a lot of thought and prayer, I decided to resign as head football coach at Hinds because I felt it was what Hinds needed,” Smith said by phone on Friday. “Dr (Clyde) Muse has graciously allowed me the opportunity to stay on until my contract expires on June 30 of next year. I will have been with Hinds for 30 years,” Smith said.

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The first of his 23 years was as an assistant and Smith helped the Eagles to win six Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges (MACJC) championships from 1994 to 2000, including four in a row from 1994-1997. The Eagles were 42-5 in that period.

When Smith took over in 2003, he led the Eagles to back-to-back 9-2 seasons and two state championship game appearances, the last coming in 2004, when they lost to eventual national champion Pearl River 24-13.

“We have a great tradition at Hinds and this was a tough decision,” Smith said.

Smith confirmed he had an opportunity to take a coaching position with a school in the Mississippi Private School Association after the Eagles finished 3-6 in 2006.

“I was offered by a private school, but I wanted to stay at Hinds,” Smith said.

The Eagles went 5-4 in 2007, bouncing back from consecutive three-win seasons in 2005 and 2006.

They were off to a 2-1 start this season when the wheels began to fall off. It started in the season opener when they lost potential All-State running back Anton Taylor to a broken leg.

“The old saying, ‘anything that could go wrong, really did go wrong’ was true this season,” Smith said. “First, we lose Anton to the broken leg. He would’ve meant at least two or three more wins for us because of his ability.

“Then we lose Vernon Wolfe (a former Vicksburg High Gator) for two games because of a suspension, but, because it was not reported to the national office, we lose him for two more games. So, for most of the season, we’re without our two best players on offense,” Smith said.


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