For the News-Register
Ron Smyth's coaching career indicates why it's good to pay attention to the advice of your parents.
Having no desire to really get into girls' basketball coaching, Smyth stopped at his parents house when he was just out of the college and coaching the Springfield Local freshman squad.
Smyth's dad told him the head girls' coaching job at Stanton was open and thought he should apply.
He heeded his dad's advice and applied. He was hired and since then has become one of the area's most respected girls' basketball coaches after making stops at Jefferson Union, Edison South and Edison Local before stepping down a few seasons ago.
"I had some great players, great assistants and great support from the schools and parents," Smyth said. "It takes commitment from a lot of people to make a program work."
Smyth owns a career record of 251-182 and now he's added the Rich Saffield Girls Basketball Coach Award to his resume. The award will be presented during next Sunday's Samuel A. Mumley OVAC All-Star Basketball Classic at Ohio University Eastern.
Smyth has had to undergo rebuilding jobs as well as taking over consolidated schools during his tenure as a head coach. When he was hired at Stanton, the Raiders were coming off a 1-20 campaign and then when he took the J-U job, the Yellow Jackets were 0-21.
Smyth enjoyed his biggest success at Edison South and had expected a big season, but South and Edison North merged to Edison Local.
"We took a step backward during the consolidation," Smyth said. ''Both South and North had five seniors coming back plus a sprinkle of underclassmen, who were more than capable of contributing.
"We hated to see that happen through consolidation, so it was tough to find playing time for all of the players," Smyth said. "We just couldn't put it together and mesh very well."
The 1975 Springfield High graduate led Edison to the 2003 OVAC title, which had been the school's only title until this year's team captured the 3-A hardware.
His best year at Edison was in 2002 when the Wildcats finished 21-2. Smyth was honored with Eastern District and District V coach of the year honors. He was also chosen to coach the OVAC, District V and Ohio North-South All-Star Games.
Smyth hasn't ruled out returning to the bench at sometime during his career.
"I still have the hunger to coach again," Smyth said. "I'm still very competitive."
Smyth, who serves on the OVAC Basketball Championship committee, is the Edison athletics director.
Ron and his wife, Nancy, have been married for almost 28 years and have two children. Their daughter, Kim, is an undergrad at Akron and their son, Mark, is a sophomore at Edison.