MT. PLEASANT (WCSC) - Lucy Beckham High School has hired their first head football coach and he won’t have far to travel to his new home. The school announced on Tuesday that they’ve tabbed Wando assistant Jamel Smith to be the leader of the Bengals program.
Smith has spent the last 8 seasons with the Warriors including spending the last 4 years as the teams defensive coordinator.
“This is a surreal moment,” Smith said when reached by phone on Tuesday afternoon. “The atmosphere and excitement at Lucy Beckham was amazing.”
Smith knows the chance to build a program from the ground up is rare. “it doesn’t come around a lot but it’s a golden opportunity.”
The Bengals new head coach brings a wealth of experience in the football world. After being a Shrine Bowl selection at Spring Valley in Columbia in the mid-90′s, Smith went on to play at Virginia Tech where he was 2nd team All-American at linebacker his senior year. He’d go on to play professionally for the Rhein Fire of NFL Europe.
When his playing days were over, Smith would return to his alma mater to coach at Spring Valley before heading back to Virginia Tech where he was a graduate assistant. He then spent 2 years as an assistant at Coastal Carolina.
“Coach Smith brings instant ENERGY to Lucy Beckham High School." the school’s new AD Scott McInnis said in a statement. "When he starts talking football, it makes me ready to put on a helmet and pads and do tackling drills. Every athlete in the 29464 zip code will be excited to play for Coach Smith.”
“Coach Smith is a fantastic addition to our team both in the classroom and on the football field." Lucy Beckham principal Anna Dassing said in a statement. "His ability to connect with student athletes and grow them from boys to young men of character and integrity is second to none. Coach Smith understands the game from the inside out and his vast personal and professional experiences with football and coaching make him primed to lead our Bengal football family.”
“Lucy Beckham saw the same potential for greatness in Coach Smith when she hired him at Wando years ago. We are thrilled to have him on board and know Lucy would be proud that he will be the first Lucy Garrett Beckham High School Football Coach.”
The school will only play junior varsity games for their first two seasons as they open in the Fall of 2020 with just sophomores and freshman. They’ll play their first varsity season in the Fall of 2022.