By Jean DePlacido
---- — After 11 years and 22 seasons Bishop Fenwick winter and spring track coach Jay Smith is stepping down. He has mixed feelings about the decision, but wants to spend more time with his family. His business Fit Force has an office in Salem, but has gone national which requires a lot of traveling.
“I gave my notice, but I want to emphasize that things are good concerning the program and direction of the school,” said Smith. “This is a good time for me and the program to establish itself. My daughters (Hannah and Abbey) graduated and are now working in City Year in Boston. My son is in middle school, and I need to be there for him.”
Smith, who lives in Salem, has been the Crusaders co-head coach or head coach for indoor and outdoor boys and girls teams for the past 20 seasons (two per school year). He told athletic director Dave Woods that he would assist in the transition if needed. Smith’s teams posted 174 victories in three different leagues – Central Catholic, Dual County, and Tri-County and contributed to the spring track program going over the 500 win mark.
“I’m handing over a job that will be attractive to a lot of people,” said Smith. “I think Fenwick will cast a pretty wide net with the winter job posted first. I love being a head coach, but right now both my business and family need more of my attention. One of the biggest challenges I’ve been facing is how to juggle everything.
“It was a blessing to be there with my daughters when they ran track at Fenwick. Down the line I will have opportunities I want to look at, but in the short term my focus is on family. I really love working with throwers, and starting a throwing club is one possibility for the future.”