Posted: 6:01 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012

Shawnee volleyball coach resigns, denies charge

By Marc Pendleton

Brad Smith abruptly resigned as the Springfield Shawnee High School girls varsity volleyball coach amid allegations that he pushed or shoved one of his players.

Smith, in his second season with the state-ranked Braves, submitted his coaching resignation on Monday. The Vandalia resident is not employed as a teacher in the Clark-Shawnee Local Schools District.

He denied any wrongdoing.

“I didn’t shove anybody,” said Smith, previously the head coach at Wayne and Trotwood-Madison.

“That’s completely false.”

Shawnee athletic director Craig Isaac was unavailable for comment.

Smith said junior varsity coach Rachael Yontz will coach the varsity for the remainder of the season. Shawnee (16-4) hosted Stebbins on Tuesday and concludes the regular season at Tecumseh on Thursday.

“Selfishness and dishonesty of one or two people can change the lives of many, and that’s what happened here,” said Smith.

He said school officials told him that he could resign or he would be dismissed as head coach.

Smith said the incident involved his preventing a Braves player from returning to the court after she was seated on the bench. He said that school video of the match does not capture the moment.

“A girl was going to go back in who wasn’t supposed to, so I held her back,” he said. “I basically just stopped (her) from going back on the court. I wish there was video, because then it would help me.”

The Braves were 16-1 and ranked No. 9 in last week’s Division II Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association state poll. Since then they have lost three straight matches and were tied with Tecumseh for the Central Buckeye Conference Kenton Division lead at 7-1.

Shawnee is the No. 2 seed in the upcoming D-II sectional at Tecumseh. Shawnee drew a first-round bye and will open tourney play against the Greenville/Greenon winner on Oct. 15.

Smith said he has coached volleyball for about 15 years. He hopes to return to coaching.

“It’s really tough for me right now,” he said.

“The most important thing is I’m really worried about the girls. They’re first and foremost and always have been. The program has always been first. It’s a tough situation, but the toughest is on the girls. That’s what’s most disappointing.”