By Thomas Sellers Jr.
One of the best baseball coaches in West Tennessee is on the move.
After 13 years at Tipton-Rosemark Academy, Brad Smith has resigned from the top position of Rebel Baseball to take over the head coach position at Arlington High School.
Arlington Tiger legendary skipper Chris Ring stepped down April 15 after 14 years and a 2012 Class 3A State championship and 2016 runner-up finish.
Smith was connected by the Arlington administration and after the interview process Smith took the Tiger job April 28. The longtime leader of the Rebels informed the TRA players via Google Classroom of his tough decision.
“It’s all about timing,” Smith said. “No matter what time you leave, you’re going to leave somebody behind. I told my players no matter when, 20 years from now, I’m still going to love you the same and be there for you.”
Smith has received interest from various programs throughout West Tennessee since building a successful program at Rosemark. The last serious shot at his services came in 2017 with Dyer County.
But the Rosemark senior Class of 2018 featuring Alex Langford, Tyler Flynn and Corey Mitson inspired Smith to stay at TRA.
That time was the third State runner up for the Rebel program during the tenure of Smith. Joining the 2018 team reaching the title game were 2009 and 2014. TRA also reached Murfreesboro in 2012 competing in the Division II-A State Tournament.
Championships, title games, college signings and multiple awards were rare to the TRA Baseball program prior to the arrival of Smith.
“I feel good because anytime you get somewhere you want to leave it better than you found it,” Smith said. “I think we’ve done that. We accomplished that with years of hard work.”
The next skipper for TRA will inherit a winning tradition, the award-winning Rebel Field featuring an updated scoreboard, press box, outfield wall and 220 stadium seats.
Smith noted it was the work and dedication of parents sacrificing time and effort that made a lot of it possible. He credited the administration under former Head of School John Scott and current leader Bobby Baker for continuous support.
Smith said all the alumni coming back has made a major impact and he thanks his assistants over the years for improving the program. And Smith said the biggest credit goes to the players.
“I was young and cocky and full of myself,” Smith recalled. “I set across from Mr. Scott and told him, ‘If you don’t hire me, you’ll making the biggest mistake ever. But if you do hire me, I’m going to win you a State title.’ So if I have one regret, it’s not winning him, the school and my players that State title.
“I love TRA,” he concluded. “TRA gave a young 30-year-old county hick from Covington his first head coaching job 13 years ago. I wanted the that job because I believed in the leadership and I never looked back. I’m very grateful for Tipton-Rosemark for giving me that opportunity. No matter where I go in the future, I will always cherish the years I had at TRA. TRA will always hold a special place in my heart.”