Corbin Smith will be the next football coach at Tempe McClintock, pending approval from the Tempe Union High School District’s governing board.
Smith is the son of the late college coach Larry Smith, who led programs at Arizona, Missouri, Tulane and USC.
Corbin Smith, whose son, Preston, made azcentral sports’ All-Arizona team as a defensive back this past season at Gilbert Mesquite, has been an assistant coach for 17 years, including offensive coordinator at Mesquite last year.
This will be his first head coaching job at a high school.
“I’m truly grateful to McClintock Principal (Mayra) Arroyo and Athletic Director (Jermaine) Whitaker for the opportunity to be the next head coach at McClintock High School,” Smith said. “I grew up around McClintock greats such as Art Greathouse and the Colter brothers (Cleveland and Spencer) and have long admired and respected the great history and tradition that is McClintock High School and Charger football.
“I’m looking forward to many years at McClintock as a coach and teacher and am ready to get started working with our team. We will put together a tremendous coaching staff of excellent motivators, tremendous teachers and even better men with the goal to instill discipline and character in the young adults we work with. This is a dream come true for me and I’m honored to be chosen.”
Smith replaces Spencer Waggoner, who led the Chargers the past two seasons to a 5-15 record.
Smith becomes the third head coach in five years at the school.
He was at Mesa Community College from last January to August, before taking the fall off from coaching to work on his masters degree and watch his son play his senior season at Mesquite. He was Jim Jones’ offensive coordinator at Mesquite, before Jones stepped down after the 2015 season.
Larry Smith died in 2008 at age 68.
“Growing up a coach’s kid is a rare thing,” Corbin said. “You see first hand how the profession works and it becomes ingrained in your DNA. I grew up watching my dad make decisions that affected many people on a daily basis. He instilled many things in me but probably the most important was, as a head coach, ‘How will your decisions affect the student-athletes and school?’
“He always put himself last when it came to who benefited. He was extremely loyal and expected hard working loyal coaches. He was extremely organized and loved his players and staff. Jim Jones also shares those same qualities. Coach Jones has taught me more about high school football and what it takes to run a successful high school program. I’m fortunate because both men have helped mold me as a coach and man.”