Board approves Smith as Central AD

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Southeast Missourian

After searching for a replacement for long-time athletic director Terry Kitchen for nearly a month, Central High School decided to stay within the Tiger family.

Darrick Smith, a math teacher and assistant coach in both football and baseball at Central High School, was unanimously approved by the Cape Girardeau Public Schools Board of Education at the board's monthly meeting held Monday, superintendent Mark Bowles said.

Smith, a native of Cape Girardeau and Central graduate, has taught at Central for seven years after teaching at Hazelwood Central in St. Louis for the previous nine years.

"This is something when it came open I thought I might never get a chance like this," Smith said. "Being from around here, this is just another opportunity for me to serve the school district."

After searching both within and outside the district, which included individual interviews with four candidates, Smith emerged as the top candidate at the end of last week, Central principal Mike Cowan said.

"After we finished we came back with a strong consensus in Darrick," he said.

Cowan said to have someone like Smith, who stands out both as an educator and as a coach, is what the school was looking for.

"That combination is extremely important to us at Central," he said.

Smith said he knows he has big shoes to fill after Kitchen's 12-year tenure, but is grateful to have Kitchen around to help aid in the transition.

"I've talked with him and he's been super," Smith said. "That's obviously something you don't always have."

Smith, who was busy scouting Central's opponent for today's Class 4, District 1 baseball game Monday night, said he's excited about continuing the Tigers' athletic tradition.

"I'm pretty confident I can help improve, or at least maintain the successful things we've done in the past," he said.

335-6611, extension 171

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