Ty Smith introduced as St. Martin Head Football Coach

Finding the right head coach in a stack full of more than 60 applications is easier said than done for the St. Martin athletic department.

But as it turns out, the coaching search didn’t lead the powers that be very far away from home. In fact, the man of the hour was already in the building.

Introducing Ty Smith as the next in line for the Yellowjackets.

“My ultimate goal was never really to be a head coach. I always thought I would love the opportunity, but whenever it presented itself here, I came over basically to run the offense for one season and see what happened. And I went into the interview and we took it from there, and having the support of the administration here and the kids and the community, it’s a special feeling.”

Less than a year after getting the keys to the playbook as St. Martin’s offensive coordinator, Ty Smith is now getting the keys to the entire program as St. Martin’s next head football coach. “I’ll be honest, I’m not a scripted guy. I kind of shoot from the hip at times. And even with the interview, I’m very organized. But at the same time, you’ve got to speak from the heart. And I just went in and told them what my vision was, and I think all of our administration has the same vision.”

After spending eight years at Ocean Springs, Smith was one of five new additions to the 2021 St. Martin coaching staff. Now he’s taking over for the recently retired Eddie Wayne Whitehead, who had a lot to do with his move to the other side of Jackson County back in July. “Coach Whitehead, being with him for this one year, he’s made a huge impact on me. I wish I could’ve worked with him longer. I will say. And I’ve told him – he’s over there – I told him ever since this became public, I want him around. This is his home. Come back. The door is always open.”

Coach Whitehead was responsible for opening that door to begin with during his 11 years as head coach. He took over a program that had just 11 wins the previous seven seasons combined, a far cry from his seven-year run of posting an overall record of .500 or better from 2013 to 2019 including playoff appearances in 2017 and 2018.

Needless to say, the expectations have changed and so have the times. “Obviously, I mean it’s 2022. Everybody wants offense. I’m an offensive guy. I played quarterback. I want to score. Alright? I want to score. But at the end of the day, we also have to adjust what we’re doing to win football games.”

A native of Natchez, Mississippi who went on to play college ball at Co-Lin, Smith says the first order of business is to establish a top-flight strength and conditioning program and then continue to build up that winning culture in what’s still his first full off-season with the Yellowjackets. “As a community itself, you’re right here by the interstate. It’s growing. Neighborhoods are being built. Stores are popping up left and right. Just in the time that I’ve been here, it’s begging to really take off.”

Despite finishing with an overall record of just 3-9 last season, St. Martin’s scoring offense went up with Coach Smith calling the shots. From here on out, he says it’s all about family.

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