Smith's retirement marks end of era for Havelock High athletics

Published: Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 03:13 PM.

"It’s going to give us a chance to do some things we haven’t had a chance to do," he said.

Smith started in Havelock in 1984. He played baseball at East Carolina and had just completed graduate school when he was hired to manage the baseball team and be an assistant football coach under Wilbur Sasser with fellow assistant Vaughn Sturm.

"Wilbur and Vaughn were there with open arms," Smith said. "We hit it off right away."

Over the years, Smith has coached some of the best athletes ever to attend Havelock High, like Richard Carter and Everett Hancock, who both signed professional baseball contracts, Ledel George, who set an ACC punt return record while at N.C. State, and Bruce Carter, now playing linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys.

"I was able to talk to him like another son," Smith said of Carter.

Smith left Havelock for an assistant coaching position at East Carolina for a short two years, but returned in 1998. The Rams struggled early in the baseball season with a 7-5 mark, but then won 14 of their next 16 games, including a victory over North Gaston to win the state 3A championship.

"We got on a roll," Smith said. "You just get in a zone and kind of get numb. You get confident that you’re as good as anybody.



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