UTICA — For the first time in 26 seasons, someone new will be leading the Utica Redskins on the football field.
Charlie Smith takes the reins less than a year after he was hired as the school’s track coach.
Smith replaces Randy Felumlee, who resigned following the last game of the 2012 season. Felumlee led the Redskins to a 125-117 record. However, their last two seasons were 2-8 (2-5 Mid-Buckeye Conference) and 1-9 (0-7).
“I think, what we really need to work on, is learning how to win,” said Smith. “(We have to) learn how to take that extra step to get you over the hump. And that’s one of those learning curves I’m hoping to bring.”
Smith will run the track program for the remainder of the school year before taking over the football program. This is his first year as a teacher and coach there.
Prior to being hired at Utica, Smith coached one year of track at Capitol University. Before that, he spent four years at Olentangy, where he became the head track coach. He also spent one year as a teacher at Horizon Science Academy in Columbus. He also coached track at Olentangy Liberty and at Dublin Grizzell Middle School, and was an assistant football coach at Big Walnut.
That’s an extensive coaching resume for someone just 11 years out of high school. And it’s helped him make plenty of friends along the way — and helped him land his dream job.
“When I got here (to Utica), the principal (Mark Bowman) was actually my shop teacher at Big Walnut,” said Smith. “When I saw the opening for the teaching job, there was some stuff that involved technology that fit my background. That got me into the school. By the grace of God and a lot of prayer, I knew I could be a football coach.
“It’s easier to get into the head coaching world as a track coach rather than a football coach. So I had that experience.”
Smith played football and ran track at Capital until he graduated in 2007. In his freshman year, he played football for the Naval Academy.
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