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Homewood-Flossmoor Girls Basketball Coach May Not Return

Anthony Smith will no longer lead the girls basketball team, and it's unlikely he'll return to teach any classes.

Patch File Photo.
Patch File Photo.

Homewood-Flossmoor girls basketball coach Anthony Smith may not resume his roles next year, as coach or teacher.

In a preliminary decision, the District 233 school board voted to not renew the contract for Anthony Smith, whose coaching practices came under scrutiny this season and led to his suspension in February. Just before the start of the playoffs, the IHSA forfeited the team's wins, and banned the team from the tournament. 

Board President Richard Lites stated that the board takes similar action with all first-year teachers, and often renews their contracts later if circumstances warrant, Chicago Tribune reports

Smith also teaches driver’s education, physical education and health at the school, Sun-Times Media reports. Assistant coach Evan Bercot also did not have his contract renewed, according to the report.

Parents and players filed into the meeting Tuesday to speak on Smith's behalf. Senior Lexi Smith said the coach made the team the "best in the nation," despite his repeated violations of bylaws. 

“No one believes that you’re cheaters,” school board president Richard Lites said to Smith, according to Sun-Times Media.

A player filed a lawsuit in January, claiming that Smith promised the parents of six new players who played on Smith's summer league team who transferred from other schools that their girls would have starting positions and they would get help in getting athletic scholarships for college, according to reports. The IHSA has a rule that prohibits any recruiting, no matter where the students live.

That lawsuit was dropped in March.

Get the rest of the story on Sun-Times Media.

ritarocky4 April 17, 2014 at 04:57 PM
The only thing these students are being taught is that rules don't matter, what kind of example did this man and others involved teach these kids, its okay to lie, cheat and deceive, did the means justify the end?
Really Real April 17, 2014 at 05:37 PM
I didn't know the coach is the one that move the transfer to HF area. Is he a real estate agent too? I thought it was the parents that followed him because they thought he was a GREAT coach. So to say he taught them to lie and cheat? Come on. Are you saying it is not alright for a family to try and put their child in the best situation to make them a better person, athlete, student is wrong. If I was able to move my child to a area that has a better music department or special education department or academic school I would move. Especially if the records show it and the coach had the record to show he was a Great coach. So why not try and go with the best teacher/program/coach. Just my thoughts.
NJR April 17, 2014 at 07:23 PM
@ Lisa... The coach did not recruit these girls. What fantastic incentive could he offer them? What unknown power was he wielding? It's fun to say, but it doesn't even make sense on any kind if practical level. @ritarocky4... The coach did not lie, cheat or deceive. Not only did he teach the kids that rules do matter, but hard work also matters. Effort matters. Discipline matters. And no matter what anyone says about you (and even if they sue you and try to destroy you), stay true to yourself, treat people fairly, keep working hard. That is what he taught. Now, our community is teaching them to slander someone, and you will win. Truth does not matter, but public opinion does. And you certainly do not need to know a person before you can stand in judgment of their character - all you have to do is read the newspaper.
Lisa Shipman April 17, 2014 at 08:48 PM
what fantastic incentive could he offer them? what incentive would he NEED to offer them? other than being such a wonderful mentor, coach and father like figure to the girls? the rules of the ihsa regarding recruiting obviously did not matter to him as long as the girls who loved playing for him were able to continue to play for him. nobody is slandering coach smith. people are merely applauding a decision that was made by the board. i am not judging tony smith's character... i am judging his actions. people with a strong character and good intentions often make mistakes. @ really real ~ why don't you GET REAL? are you saying that the 6 families that transferred their girls into the HF district did so with no thought of any other children in their families? was the senior (or junior) girl's position on the varsity HF basketball team SO IMPORTANT that every other sibling got forgotten? those girls had no brothers or sisters that belonged to a sport or a club or had friends or had lives that mattered enough to NOT UPROOT an entire family just for 1 year of playing for coach smith? COME ON....you cannot expect anyone with any semblance of intelligence to believe that. you cannot expect us to believe that these girl's families were actually part of the HF community. coach smith wanted a winning season to start his career at HF and he was willing to get it anyway he could. shame on him and shame on his supporters. this is high school basketball. none of this cloak and dagger ridiculousness and cutthroat 'winning at all costs' is good for our students or our communtiy.
Walker Percy April 19, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Everybody has unclean hands in this situation. Tony Smith's reputation was that he recruited people from all over. Certainly the Board knew this when they hired him. They ran the risk of being called out on it, and then they were. This is HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETICS, people! It's not the NCAA. I'm mystified that anybody would be defending Tony Smith.

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