CLOVER — Chad Smith, who returned Easley football to championship-contending status during a successful three-year stint, is settling into his position as head football coach at Clover High School, where his primary goal is to restore Blue Eagle football to Upstate supremacy.
Smith, a 33-year-old student of the Wing-T philosophy whose energetic demeanor radiates the halls at CHS, has been overwhelmed by the initial response to his arrival to Blue Eagle Country.
“I’ve had phenomenal support from the Clover school district and the community, the commitment to football coaches strive for,” Smith said.
The flamboyant-speaking CHS coach’s primary focus is getting more players involved in Blue Eagle football. “The numbers are up already and will continue to climb,” said Smith.
“It’s ridiculous for a Big 16 school to finish the football season with 38 players,” he said. “We’ll get the numbers where they need to be. We know we can do that.”
Regardless of the number of players in the program, Smith said the kids will be ready to play. “Our kids will be involved in work they haven’t experienced before,” Smith said.
Smith is in the process of building the football staff. He said he is elated with the most recent addition, defensive coordinator Chris Bunting, a former coaching associate.
Smith and Bunting previously coached together at West Montgomery High School in North Carolina.
“We’re excited to have Chris join the staff,” Smith said. “The players and coaches will see how much he brings to the program. We hope to hire a couple more coaches.”
With the arrival of spring practice in May, Smith said the spring focus will be more of the same in the weight room.
“Getting physically tougher, learning schemes, building self-pride, that’s what spring practice will be about,” he said.
Smith said the summer will be active, including 7-on-7 competition and offseason workouts.
Smith said the fall football schedule will likely be the same as last year. “We’ll make a few changes to next year’s schedule,” he added. “There’s not much we can do about this year’s slate.”
Smith has pointed out that he cut his teeth on the pure wing-T the likes of former Blue Eagle head coach Marty Woolbright. He plans to implement more of the double-wing version crafted by Jet Turner.
“We will be more power-based and counter-based than Jet’s double-wing,” he said.
Smith continues to marvel at the support he’s received from the Blue Eagle Nation.
“This is the fifth high school I’ve coached football,” he said. “It’s the greatest commitment and support base I’ve been around. Clover’s loyal fan base is the envy of many schools across the state.”