Then-head coach Trace Smitherman (right) guided Stebbins to its best high school football season in two decades in 2015. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Smitherman leaves Stebbins for Xenia

Trace Smitherman has resigned at Stebbins to accept the head football coaching position at Xenia High School. He was approved by the board of education on Monday night.

He succeeds Bob DeLong , who resigned after last season following an eight-year run.

In eight seasons Smitherman essentially revived the Stebbins program, which had languished in the bottom half of the Central Buckeye Conference since joining. The Indians were 7-3 in 2015 , their best record in more than two decades, and were in contention for their first playoff bid until a Week 10 loss.

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Smitherman was named the Miami Valley Football Coaches Association coach of the year in 2014 and ’15 and also was the Division II Southwest District coach of the year in 2015. Stebbins was 3-7 last season, its first in the Greater Western Ohio Conference American South Division.

“We’re extremely excited to welcome Trace to the Buccaneer program and are looking forward to his wealth of knowledge, experience and determination that he will bring to our student athletes,” said Xenia athletic director Nathan Kopp in a statement.

A native of Virginia, Smitherman is a senior ad tech consultant at Vivial Media LLC. The immediate task will be to mirror the program reboot he oversaw in Riverside. Xenia hasn’t contended for a GWOC divisional title and also is seeking its first postseason appearance.

Xenia (3-7) won three of its final four games last season following a 0-6 start in the realigned GWOC American South Division. DeLong resigned after being told he wouldn’t be retained. He also had been in that position for eight seasons following a long and successful run as Tecumseh’s head coach.

Xenia’s historic Cox Stadium underwent a significant upgrade two years ago, which also included the installation of the popular FieldTurf.

“Bob DeLong is a really good football coach,” Smitherman said. “To follow in his footsteps is a tough task. I want to be up to the challenge. It starts at the foundation, growing the kids and growing as a coach to see what’s needed.”

This marks at least the third GWOC coaching change for next season. The Stebbins position must be filled and Doug Hatcher was not retained at West Carrollton.

Also on Monday, Hamilton Badin announced the hiring of former Ross assistant Nick Yordy as the Rams’ new head coach. A Badin grad, he succeeds Bill Tenore, who was not retained after eight mostly successful seasons, including five playoff teams.

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