Oakcrest football coach Chuck Smith has announced he has stepped down as head coach at the Mays Landing school effective immediately, he ends with a 28-34 record over six seasons, including four appearances in the NJSIAA playoffs.

With Smith stepping down, coupled with Bob Coffey stepping down after 30 years at Mainland, speculation has mounted that Smith could be a top candidate for the Mustangs job, both his Alma mater and where he currently teaches.

This story hits home to me in many ways, I played for coach Smith during my time at Mainland, he was one of my favorite coaches I have ever played for and was a great motivator and mentor.

Another way that coach Smith has impacted my life is with my career.

It was coach Smith who directed me into the broadcasting field, he was the TV teacher during my time at Mainland and still holds that position today.  I enjoyed that class so much so that I decided to make it a career - and for that coach Smith I am thankful.

Coach Smith was also a baseball coach at Mainland, coaching the freshman team.  While I didn't play baseball for him during my time at Mainland, his dedication to the kids can't be argued.

In the years that have past since I have left Mainland, went to West Virginia and have entered the real world Coach Smith remembers me as if I was ready to walk into his classroom later that day or step on the practice field ready for our next battle together.

I saw coach Smith this summer, over in Ventnor, where I now coach and run the Ventnor baseball program.  Coach Smith got me into broadcasting, I can only think he had played a part in me getting into coaching, trying to make impact in young men's lives.

That's what coaches are supposed to do, make an impact in players, and young men's lives, Chuck Smith you did that for me and hopefully the kids at both Oakcrest and students at Mainland appreciate what you have done for them.

Thanks you coach.

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