A dream came true for Josh Smalley.
He’s going to be a athletic director and a head varsity football coach.
Smalley, Bridge City’s offensive coordinator the last three seasons, was recommended by the Orangefield School Board to become the new Athletic Director and head football coach of the Bobcats Monday night.
Smalley will replace Brian Huckabay, who stepped down from the position late this spring.
“I just thought this was a golden opportunity for me and I have always loved the environment here at Orangefield,” said Smalley, who was offensive coordinator in Orangefield from 2006-08 before taking over a similar role at Bridge City, his alma mater. “It’s such a fun place to be. Orangefield is such a tight-knit community, one that has always supported kids in everything that they do. I loved it here my first go-around and I can’t wait to get in there and get my feet wet, meet all the kids and start getting ready for some football, it will be here before you know it.”
Smalley is anxious to be an AD for the first time.
“I’ve been thinking about it for about the last four years,” said Smalley. “ADs have always tended to move a bunch though and moving definitely isn’t my thing. I’m definitely a ‘homer’ in a lot of ways. I never have thought much about moving out of Southeast Texas or even Orange County. My wife teaches here at Orangefield and we have three excellent young men we’re raising. I’m not someone that wants to uproot at all. I thought about this decision and I realized that coming to Orangefield was my calling and I want to thank the administration, the school board and everyone involved for giving me this wonderful opportunity.”
Smalley graduated from Bridge City High School in 1994. He attended Lamar University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in History in 1999.
He has also coached at Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Vidor.
He has taught special education, history and science.
Smalley has a splendid family that consists of wife Kim and stepsons Mason 16, Noah 14, and Christian 10.
It wasn’t an easy decision for Smalley to leave the Redbird nest. Smalley was a all-around superb athlete when he played for the Cardinals, including being a excellent quarterback back in the early 1990s.
“You know, I love Bridge City to death, I was raised there, played there, so it was a long thought process,” said Smalley. “I have so many friends and relationships there that has been built over a lot of years and that’s not going to change. I love all the kids that I’ve been able to coach there and I truly love the ones that are there right now. I don’t care if I’m in Utah, Orangefield or anywhere else, I will always have a special place in my heart for Bridge City.”
Smalley, who has just about coached every sport in his stints at four Orange County schools, so he understands what each coach and each sport goes through. Plus, he’s worked with some outstanding ADs in the past.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with so many outstanding coaches throughout the years,” said Smalley. “I’ve been able to pick up on a lot of things along the way from some outstanding individuals. There is probably a lot of things I definitely know that I will have to learn along the way. I can’t wait to get things going. I’m familiar with current coaches on the staff that I’ve worked with in the past and I’m eager to get with them as soon as possible and get things organized and ready to go.”
Huckabay posted a 16-14 record in his three seasons in Orangefield. The Bobcats finished 5-5 a season ago.
The last time the Bobcats made the postseason was 2003 under the direction of Kevin Flanigan, who is now the head coach at Beaumont West Brook. The Bobcats defeated Liberty 21-14 in bidistrict and fell to LaGrange 17-14 in the area round.
Flanigan also led the Bobcats to the postseason in 2000 and 1999.
A dream came true for Josh Smalley.
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