Reggie Smith Jr. new defensive coordinator

Natalie Hanassab

Reggie Smith Jr., son of former Major League Baseball player Reggie Smith, accepted a position as the new defensive coordinator for the Pierce College football team.He came to Pierce after coaching at Chaminade High School in West Hills for the past five years.Smith grew up loving, playing and watching sports. This was mainly because of his athletic father, who is currently the baseball coach for Team USA in the upcoming Olympic Games.Smith attended Montclair Prep High School in Van Nuys, where he played his two favorite sports, baseball and football. Although he was constantly surrounded by a lot of talent, his father never pressured him into anything, letting him choose his own path. “I got to hang out with world-class athletes and learn from them every day,” Smith said. Smith enjoyed coaching at Chaminade, but like many people, he sought opportunities and open doors. After five years, Smith decided it was time to move on to bigger and better things.”I wanted to hand over the job to the new coach, so he can bring in his own staff and new coaching strategies to the team,” said Smith. “When the opportunity came for the job at Pierce, it was the perfect time and I took it.”With his immense talent and many experiences in Zen, a Japanese philosophy, he plans to bring a unique but positive coaching style to the field. Zen mostly focuses on the present moment rather than the past.He will be using his “martial arts background style” while he is on the field, but that does not mean he isn’t going to be a typical tough football coach.”I coach aggressive-attack-style defense and show my players how to play championship-style football,” said Smith. “I also highlight each of my players in everything they bring out on the field.”Offensive coordinator Jim Thorton, who is also new at Pierce, is looking forward to what Smith has to offer this season. Thorton has spoken to him a variety of times and likes what hehears. “I always look forward to new challenges, new players and new experiences,” said Thorton. “After speaking with Smith, I know he will be bringing a new experience, a new philosophy.”Head Coach Efrain Martinez and his players are definitely curious to see the impact that Smith will have on their team, whose season began in January.”The kids trust my judgment,” Martinez said.Hard work and changes should make this season a winning one. The players must attend 85 percent of the practices in the pre-season to play, according to Martinez.In a new recruiting program for high schools, players who do not receive out-of-state scholarships have the opportunity to play for Pierce.”Reggie brought along many local recruits for us,” said Martinez. “We have many commitments because of that. We are now only accepting local players.”Although the new season has not yet begun, Smith has already spoken to the players and started working with them. He said he “likes what he sees and respects all the hard work.”He has also built a good relationship with some of the players with the positive reinforcement shown at practice. Smith describes himself as “a teacher, but still a player.” The one thing he looks forward to most this season is stated plain and simple: “Just getting out there and playing football.”


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