Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) coach Steve Smith was named Naismith Boys' High School Coach of the Year Friday marking the second time Smith has taken home the prestigious award in the last four years.
Smith will be recognized at the Atlanta Tipoff Club’s Naismith Awards Banquet at the Georgia International Convention Center in Atlanta on March 22.
“Obviously this is a great honor, but this doesn’t happen without having great players and a great season,” Smith said. “So I give a lot of credit to my players. I love my guys. We’ve challenged them all year in practice and they’ve responded. Getting the Coach of the Year award is just the icing on the cake for the season we’ve had.”
Smith beat out St. Anthony’s (Jersey City, N.J.) Bob Hurley Sr., Gonzaga College’s (Washington, D.C.) Steve Turner, Simeon’s (Chicago) Robert Smith, Wichita Heights’ (Wichita, Kan.) Joe Auer and Marcus’ (Flower Mound, Texas) Danny Henderson.
“Steve is definitely deserving of this because he’s been very consistent,” said Montrose Christian (Rockville, Md.) coach Stu Vetter. “He doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves because he’s won so much, but this is a great achievement for him. I think he does an outstanding job.”
Smith last won Naismith Coach of the Year in 2009 when the Warriors finished 40-1. This year, the Warriors (43-0) have eclipsed 40 wins for the first time in the school’s history.
Oak Hill is the top-ranked team in the POWERADE FAB 50.
“Coach Smith definitely deserves the Coach of the Year award,” said Warriors’ point guard Tyler Lewis. “He’s undefeated and gets the most out of his players day in and day out. He just knows the game really well, and even though we don’t have the best talent he always gets us to play as a team.”
The Warriors will host Body of Christ (Raleigh, N.C.) on Feb. 28 in their regular season finale before heading to China where they will play nine games against international competition.