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McIntosh tabs Smith as new football coach

When football kicks off in the fall, there will be a new face leading the Chiefs onto the field. Derek Smith has been named the new head football coach at McIntosh High. 

Smith was drawn to a school that appreciates the importance of combining success in the classroom and on the athletic field. 

“The McIntosh football program has the capability of being one of those successful programs,” said Smith. “They have strong student-athletes with work ethic and a desire to achieve. They have a strong and supportive booster club, student fan base, and community.”

He is bringing with him 24 years of coaching in a multitude of sports, with his most recent run at Viera High in Florida. He spent the last 8 years at Viera, four years as the defensive coordinator and four as the head coach. As the head coach he won three district championships with two trips to the regional semifinals. 

“I am coming from a school that is nearly a mirror image of McIntosh,” he said. “It took a lot of hard work and effort to bring that school to state-wide recognition in Florida for football like the rest of their sports, and it was achieved.”

Smith has lived his life around the gridiron. Following a collegiate career at Chowan College where he was a four-year starter, three-time All-Conference player, and one-time All-American, he jumped right into coaching. 

“I understand the balance between student-athlete, how to motivate athletes to overachieve, and how to develop assistant coaches into the next generation of head football coaches,” he said. “Through my years of experience I have learned how to develop and support relationships with parents, community businesses, and recreational programs to help in their growth.”

His wife Christina is also a veteran educator of nearly 16 years specializing in Exceptional Children’s Services and will be teaching at Sandy Creek High School. 

Smith replaces Lee Belknap, who led the Chiefs for over a decade and leaves as the winningest coach in program history.