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Athenians in search of new girls basketball coach

Tyler Smith leaves the CHS girls basketball program with the 4th most wins in program history.

Crawfordsville girls basketball is now in search of a new girls basketball coach as Tyler Smith, who had spent the past four seasons with CHS, will not have his contract re-newed by the school according to Athletic Director Bryce Barton.

“We appreciate Tyler’s time and effort in his four years as head coach of the Athenians,” Barton said. “Tyler loves the sport of basketball, having been a former player and long-time coach. I have no doubt that you will see Tyler on the sidelines coaching in the near future.”

In his four season’s Smith compiled a record of 26-60 including a 7-16 record this past season.

“While I am still confused by this sudden decision, I am still incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity the last four years,” Smith said. “It was a dream come true to coach a varsity program, and I believe we did a lot of great things in my time here. I inherited a program that had only won 11 games in the previous four seasons, and we were able to win 26 games in our four years, while also having some winnable games canceled during the pandemic. We accomplished a number of things that hadn’t been done in the program for nearly a decade. One of my goals was to bring some respectability back to the program, and I believe we did that.”

In his four season’s Smith and the Athenians produced three Sagamore All-Conference players in Lauren Kellerman, Shea Williamson, and Taylor Abston this past year. Two season’s ago the Athenians achieved their most program wins betwen the varsity and junior varsity (21) since 2010 and earned the teams first sectional win since 2019 with a victory over county rival North Montgomery. Smith’s 26 wins are the fourth most in program history and CHS under Smith thrived in close games posting a 10-2 record in such games the last few seasons.

Barton added a few reasons why the school decided to move in a different direction.

“We felt like we needed some positive momentum moving forward in the girls’ basketball program,” Barton said. “We have to get better individually and as a whole. We’re behind several schools in the area in our player and program development. We hope making a change will accelerate us in closing the gap to those schools.”

Smith gave some final parting words.

“Most of all, I will miss seeing this great group of girls every day and working with them. We made some memories that will last a lifetime. I’ve been blown away by the number of calls and messages of support I’ve received in the last few days. I’ll be one of their biggest fans moving forward, and I look forward to my next coaching adventure in the future.”

The search for the next Smith’s replacement is already underway.

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