By KYLE LOVERN
UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – Frankie Smith is coming home to West Virginia.
The former Tug Valley High School basketball coach has come full circle. Smith is a native of Chattaroy and won a Class AA state title back in 1999 for the Panthers. He officially resigned from Saginaw Valley State University on Monday morning after five seasons.
Smith left Mingo County to become an assistant at Miami (Ohio) near Cincinnati and then became the head coach at SVSU.
“I have decided that it is best for me and my family to move closer to our families in West Virginia,” Smith said. “I want to thank Saginaw Valley State University for the opportunity and wish them continued success.”
Smith has been rumored to be a candidate for the vacant Mingo Central basketball position. Dwayne Estepp recently resigned from that job after one season with the Miners.
The job has not yet been posted by the Mingo County Board of Education. The posting is expected to be in May.
“We’ll be moving back in the middle of May,” Smith told the Williamson Daily News on Monday afternoon. “I plan to pursue various coaching opportunities in the local area.”
“Me and my wife Jill are excited to come back home,” Smith added. “I look forward to being close to my father again.”
Smith’s father Frank Smith has been a long time basketball coach in the area for many years.
“I would like to thank Coach Smith for his five seasons of dedicated work here at SVSU and wish him and his family the best in the future,” said Mike Watson, SVSU Director of Athletics.
A national search for a new men’s basketball coach at SVSU will begin immediately.
Smith’s daughter Madison will remain at Saginaw Valley to continue her college education, he said.
(Kyle Lovern is the sports editor for the Williamson Daily News. Comments or story ideas can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org)