Smelser, who was a former standout player at Dobyns-Bennett and the coach at Science Hill for 12 years, has been named the Pioneers’ soccer coach.
In his dozen years at Science Hill, his boys and girls teams won numerous district and regional championships, and he earned multiple coach of the year awards. His 2005 Lady Hilltoppers team was the girls’ program’s first to advance to the state tournament. He replaces Tori Head, another D-B alum who had served as Crockett coach since 2015.
Currently a physical education teacher at Liberty Bell Middle School, he is also the president of Johnson City Futbol Club, a club concentrating on building and growing soccer in Johnson City and Washington County. He is also coach of the under-12 boys team for the JCFC.
"I am excited about the opportunity that Crockett has given to me to get back in the game at the high school level and hopefully give back to the game that has blessed me and given me so much in my life," said Smelser, who lives with his wife and two sons in Jonesborough. "It is called 'the beautiful game,' but it takes a lot of work both individually and as a team to make it beautiful.
"I know exactly what I signed up for and we have a lot of work to do, but I am excited that 20-plus boys have gotten together mostly on their own for the past two weeks to work and get better and even learn more about the game."
David Crockett athletic director Josh Kite is thrilled to get a coach of Smelser's stature to take over the Pioneers program. As a player, Smelser was an NAIA All-American honorable mention selection and a NCCAA All-American first-team pick at Lee University.
"We're extremely excited to have Coach Smelser here," Kite said. "He brings a tremendous amount of knowledge and these kids are going to get wonderful instruction. He is a proven winner and he brings a track record of success to David Crockett High School."