SHAW — For the first time in his five-year coaching career, former Greenville-Weston High assistant football coach Kendrick Smith will have the opportunity to lead a high school program.
Smith, who spent the last four seasons as the defensive coordinator for Shaw, was officially tabbed Thursday as the new head football coach for the Hawks.
Smith, who spent one season as a defensive backs coach at GWHS in 2005-06 under Mario Kirksey, said he’s up for the challenge.
“First and foremost I want to develop young men into productive citizens into society,” said the Cleveland High graduate. “The main thing I want to do is build off what Inmon started and turn Shaw into the best 1A team in the state of Mississippi.”
The newly tabbed 30-year-old coach will have big shoes to fill at Shaw. Inmon, a Delta coaching legend who worked in the area for 37 years, stepped down from the position in May, citing the unwillingness to both coach and take on a full load of classes as a math instructor.
Smith said he learned a lot from Inmon, who spent the last four seasons coaching the Hawks.
“The No. 1 thing I learned from (Inmon) was how to manage a football team,” said Smith, who played at Mississippi Delta Community for two seasons before moving on to the University of Tennessee at Martin.
As for his coaching staff, Smith said Damius Robinson, a former offensive lineman at Murray State, will stay on as the offensive and defensive line coach.
“(Robinson) is my right hand man,” said Smith. “He’s been here every step of the way, running an off-season program. He does a great job of getting kids strong.”
Smith said he will be bringing in two additional coaches.
“(Our staff) is going to be young, but they will be experienced,” he said. “(All the coaches) will have played college football before.”
Shaw Superintendent Dr. Cederick Ellis, Sr. said he has confidence that Smith will get the job done.
“Smith’s familiarity with the school’s traditions and values, coupled with serving under coach Butch Inmon’s reign, made him an ideal choice to lead the next generation of football athletes,” Ellis said.