Three decades of dedication: Chad Smothers’ retirement


greenhopefalcons via Instagram

Chad Smothers has been involved with many athletic programs in the state, coaching football prior to being Green Hope’s Athletic Director.

Aditi Bhadauria, Staff Writer

Eleven years of coaching at fall Friday Night Lights, winter basketball games and spring baseball tournaments end as Chad Smothers retires from Green Hope High School as the official athletic director.

Smothers started his career in 1993 as an elementary school Physical Education teacher. He then built his career across high schools in North Carolina, including Reidsville, Havelock, Rockingham County, Knightdale, East Wake and Leesville Road.

After several years of experience, he became an athletic director at Knightdale in 2014. Three years later, he returned to Leesville Road as a head football coach and, in 2019, joined Green Hope as an athletic director.

“I always knew I wanted to be in the Raleigh area. I liked the opportunities here, especially compared to the rural schools I was with,” Smothers said. Starting out in assistant coaching, Smothers traveled from school to school for better opportunities, always being sure to leave each with a lasting positive impact. 

As part of the football and baseball programs at various schools over the years, Smothers explained how his coaching duties translated into being an athletic director: “Primarily, coaching football and baseball prepared me for numerous responsibilities. Football is involved with dealing with a bigger team and more people, making sure every component is carried out. For baseball, you have to deal with smaller responsibilities, spring schedules and organize summer programs.”

Before becoming the official athletic director, eleven years of experience in local high schools coaching various sports brought Smothers to Green Hope extensively. Seeking out a position in the Wake County area, the differentiation of the student body stood out to him. 

“Green Hope has been and is very well rounded, being one of the best comprehensive high schools in the United States. The school’s diverse body stood out to me; you have students from different states moving in and coming from hundreds of countries- teams coming together, gathering players from different backgrounds and working to combine each other’s strengths,” Smothers said. 

[Smothers] has been building an inclusive, successful athletic program that benefits all aspects of Green Hope.”

— Ms. Alison Cleveland, Principle

He explained how Green Hope is a school where athletes’ growth and development over time were a prevalent part of the school’s culture. “My favorite part of being an athletic director is watching all athletes grow, learn and hone their skills- watching them work one-on-one with their coaches to tackle problems,” Smothers said.

A typical day being a director involves immersion in numerous niche tasks, including checking live streaming cameras, ensuring referees fill out paperwork and overseeing gameday transportation.

“It definitely is challenging at times to balance every day’s games, events and more, but every school nearby works together for things like transportation, and this school is a great environment for the cultivation of all athletes overall.” Smothers said.

People recognize Smothers for the effort he puts into his job. Principal Ms. Alison Cleveland said, “He oversees the largest student organization in the school and works with teachers, coaches and families that span all aspects of our school.”

Smothers officially announced his retirement at the end of March and is leaving a legacy of 30 years of coaching and education in North Carolina. Smothers said, “I look forward to my retirement. I want to thank Dr. Hendrick for bringing me on, and Ms. Cleveland has been a seamless transition. She will continue to do great things for Green Hope. This school has really been a great place to finish my career.”

Although Smothers’ career has finalized, his impact on people will continue. Green Hope values the supportive environment that Smothers helped create for athletes, students and staff.