Jim Smith, who helped mold the Hilliard Davidson High School boys track and field team into one of the top programs in the state, is stepping down after 31 seasons as coach.
Smith, who also is resigning as a physical education and health teacher at Davidson, will be moving to Washington, D.C., with his wife, Lori Baldwin, who has accepted a position in corporate engagement at Georgetown University.
“I’m sad that I’m leaving. I’m scared,” Smith said. “All I’ve done is commit to Hilliard. I’ve been there 34 years. I’m the only track coach they’ve had since Davidson opened, so it’s going to be a big change for me. It will be different. I’m excited to start a whole new chapter.”
The Wildcats’ best finish in the Division I state meet under Smith came in 2003 when they tied for third (28 points) behind champion Cleveland Glenville (56).
“Coach Smith has impacted student-athletes not only on the track, but in the classroom and outside of track as well,” girls track coach Matt Beatty said. “He has provided leadership and guidance for countless students and athletes here at Davidson. He has always gone the extra mile to help anyone who needed it. He has been instrumental in the development of the program, bringing it to a level where it is recognized and honored throughout the state.”
Smith, a 1984 Otterbein graduate, was an All-American track and field decathlete and a four-year letterwinner in track and football. He also was the recipient of Otterbein’s Norris-Elliot Award for sports and academics.