We had a discussion in the office Tuesday night about the career Lenny Smith put together at Danville.
I hadn’t really considered it much, because it’s hard to reflect on history when it’s actively happening in front of you.
There haven’t been many coaches who put together the kind of sustained run Smith did.
So it came as a shock that he doesn’t get to finish one of the great careers in Valley history on his own terms.
The meeting to open Smith’s position — that of Danville boys basketball coach — scheduled for Wednesday night was canceled. An alert from the school district sent Wednesday morning said technical issues forced the meeting to be nixed. Danville Superintendent Ricki Boyle said whether the meeting was rescheduled would be decided at an agenda meeting with the school board President today.
This is what happens in 2020.
Success doesn’t breed success anymore. It breeds a group of parents who think maybe it could be better if their kid played more, or if coach was nicer.
Or maybe an administrator or school board member thinks a relative should have played more.
You get nebulous reasons off the record, but, in the end, the Valley loses another coach who devoted his life to the high school program and to its youth program, as well. Success is built on that commitment, and to this day Smith spends his Saturday mornings in the winter teaching his future Ironmen.
It’s a shame I have to write the same column again, but it’s even more of shame that Smith loses his job, rather than being celebrated for his successes.
As somebody who has been around Smith — more so in the last five years — and seen some of the toughest losses of his career, our conversation Tuesday night was tough.
Smith can find some humor in the toughest losses, but you could hear the emotion in his voice while he discussing his ouster.
Man, I know it’s really tough to grow up these days. Bullied at school, bullied at home on social media, stuck at home for two months — and that’s just 2020.
However, we also have to find a balance for kids as well.
Life isn’t all roses and rainbows. I worry about these kids having the skills to cope with what life deals when they become adults.
Danville will find another coach, and he’ll probably be a good one — the school district has great facilities, and it’s a great place to raise a family.
What I’m not so sure about is it a great school district in which to coach high school sports?
Todd Hummel covers high school sports for The Daily Item. Email him at email@example.com.