A proud Loyd Star alum, Adam Smith ready to get to work as head football coach

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

You won’t find anyone that wanted the Loyd Star head football job more than Adam Smith.

Last week the Lincoln County School Board made Smith’s dream a reality when he was approved as the next head man for Hornet football.

A 2008 graduate of the school, Smith has been head coach at Ethel High for the least three seasons after previously being an assistant coach at Loyd Star earlier in his career.

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It’s not just hiring of Smith that has the Hornetville fanbase fired up, but also his new assistant coaches that all have a familiarity with the program and the school. Sysco

Joining Smith on his staff will be two of his high school classmates and teammates in Dustin Sisco and John Smith. Sisco is a holdover from the previous staff led by Brian Ford while John Smith comes home to Loyd Star after serving as the head football coach last season at Salem Attendance Center.

Additionally, Josh Thibodeaux is coming back to Loyd Star as an assistant coach after a long stint on the staff at Franklin County.

Thibodeaux was the head coach when Adam Smith, John Smith and Sisco were all juniors in high school.

The threesome actually played in eighth grade for Sidney Wheatley, ninth grade for Wade Henderson, tenth grade for Wayne Rogers, eleventh grade for Thibodeaux and as seniors for Ryan Ross.

With Loyd Star being home, Adam Smith wants to put the type of long-term stability in the program that he never experienced as a players.

“It’s all about the relationships,” said Smith. “I met the kids last week and we’re going to start our spring practices on Monday and work towards a jamboree at Southern Miss on May 20. The kids are excited and ready to get to work.”

Loyd Star is coming off six years under the leadership of its former coach, Ford. He went 42-42 in six seasons and twice won Region 7-2A. Last week Ford was announced as the head football coach at Southeast Lauderdale High.

Smith began his career as a volunteer assistant at Sumrall High while still a student at USM. He then coached with Thibodeaux for one year at Enterprise under then head coach Brooks Burns.

Smith was next hired at Loyd Star where he coached under Adam Cook and Ford.

His first opportunity to be a head coach was at Byram Middle School, which is the job he held before being hired to lead the program at 1A Ethel.

The Ethel Tigers went 0-12 the season before Smith was hired.

In a COVID-19 shortened debut season, his first team went 2-5 on the field.

Smith made a change after that first season and installed the Notre Dame Box on offense.

In 2021, the Tigers went 7-4 for the first winning season since 1995. Last season, they finished 6-5 and scored more points than any team in school history.

“It’s a system that’s worked too good for us to not bring it here,” said Smith. “At Ethel, we had kids that bought in on being good teammates and playing with a toughness at the line of scrimmage to make it successful. I think we can have that same type of success here.”

There’s more momentum going on within the Loyd Star program as work has progressed on the school’s new football field, a project that’s sat in limbo for a number of years as the old field deteriorated. The hope is that the Hornets will be able to play on their new field during the 2023 season.

“This is home and to get to come back home and coach with the guys on this staff,” said Smith as emotion filled his voice. “I can’t even tell you how excited I am to get to work.”