11/1/2019 - 1:17 PM - Kaden Hartman
If you have ever been to a Friday night RLP Hawk's football game, chances are you have heard the boisterous voice of high school football coach Greg Smith. Smith, born and raised in the state of California first started getting involved with football while he was in the 7th grade when he started playing for the flag football team at his school. He started playing tackle football in high school. His ability to play football and his great academic work allowed him to play football for Stanford University. Studying Environmental Earth Science, Smith had no intentions of teaching high school or coaching football. After graduating college he worked for an independent oil company. Working for this company allowed him to travel the world. “At one point I had been to more countries than I had been states,” he noted. “I believe God really opened up the doors for me.”
Smith met his wife while she was attending college in Tucson, Arizona, and they decided to settle down and start a family in California. Smith has four daughters living as far away as Fairbanks, Alaska, and all the way across the country in Washington, D.C. He is also the grandfather to nine grandchildren, five grandsons and four granddaughters. While living in California with his family Smith coached high school football and softball and taught for 26 years. After all of his daughters had grown up, Smith’s wife decided she wanted to experience the four seasons as she was born in Staten Island, New York. His daughter who had been living in Medford, Wisconsin, at the time showed them a few houses in the area, and they decided on a house in Westboro. Smith and his wife bought the house in 2005, but Smith finished up his teaching contract and finally moved to the area in August of 2015.
While going to church in the area, he met Dave Hopkins who helped get him into coaching for the Rib Lake Prentice Hawks. Smith loved the opportunity and took the job right away. Smith mainly coached JV level football during his coaching tenure in California so he loved the fact that he had the chance to coach it again. “I really like coaching at the JV level, I’ve always liked working with the younger players to get them ready to be good varsity players.” adds Smith. He has always loved the impact that coaching football can have, “The incredible thing with coaching is the impact not only that I can have on players, but you as players have on me,” he adds “I get blessed both ways.” This past season Smith was able to coach the Hawks JV football in a 16-12 win over Tomahawk, their first win in almost five years. “I’ll never forget the score of that game,” Smith states, “seeing the glow on your guy’s face was so cool, when I saw that the way it touched your heart, it was shining through your eyes.”
Smith has loved to be part of our small town community, “It is fun being part of Prentice High school and Rib Lake High School, and part of your state. I like being part of Wisconsin. It's fun to be here.”