Vincent Smith, who spent his freshman season as an offensive lineman at the University of Colorado in 1988, has been named the new football coach at Boulder High, Panthers' athletic director Eddie Hartnett announced Saturday.
"I have fond memories of Boulder," Smith said in a statement announcing the hiring. "It's a wonderful city with beautiful people.
"I have many great friends in Colorado, lifelong friends. I'm so very excited to be part of the Boulder High School family."
Smith has more than 20 years of coaching experience and, despite an overall head coaching record of 23-81, has a reputation for turning around struggling programs. He spent the past two seasons as the head coach at Gardena High School in California, leading the team to an 8-14 mark during that time. Gardena went 6-6 last season, only the second time in more than a decade that the team won six games, and reached the playoffs.
Previous to his stay at Gardena, Smith had head coaching stints at Desert Ridge and Tucson high schools in Arizona. He started the program at Desert Ridge and then led Tucson to its first playoff appearance in more than 20 years.
Smith is taking over a Boulder program that has struggled recently, going 10-19 in the previous three seasons under former coach Bob Simmons, who resigned in May. The Panthers made the playoffs last season, however, and have several talented players returning, including quarterback Max Bajza and lineman Jackson Hussey and Blake Patchet.
"I believe that we have found a coach that not only will be a wonderful fit for Boulder High School football, but Boulder High School will a wonderful fit for this coach," Hartnett said in the statement. "Boulder High School athletics is proud to announce a new football coach, a new era and a new football league for the 2016 season. Ex Colorado Buffalo Vincent Smith returns to the Flatirons."
Smith was a teammate of Darian Hagan at Locke High School, in California, where he earned All-L.A. City Section honors as an offensive lineman. He played for CU for one season before transferring to the University of Arizona, where he was a three-year starter for the Wildcats.
Smith is expected to meet with Boulder players and parents on June 13 at 8 a.m. at Recht Field.
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