By Mike White | Monday, Jan. 25, 2010, 10:15 p.m.
George Smith built the McKeesport football team into one of the better programs in WPIAL Class AAAA. But he walked way from the job today.
Smith resigned this morning after meeting with McKeesport school officials. He was the Tigers' coach for 28 years and won 197 games. Smith isn't talking - at least not yet. He could not be reached and McKeesport athletic director Charley Kiss said he has been told by a few close to Smith that he wants to wait a day before speaking about his decision.
It's not toally clear why Smith decided to resign. Kiss said, "He just decided there were some things that were too hard to overcome with the way we do some things in our district."
Not totally sure what that means, but Kiss said he couldn't elaborate.
Whatever the reason, the WPIAL is a little worse off tonight without Smith. He will be missed. He was great for the kids at McKeesport. He was good for WPIAL football. McKeesport is not an easy place to coach, but Smith made things work.
Wonder what will happen to McKeesport's vaunted flexbone offense (triple option)? I'll bet McKeesport hires from outside the program - and the flexbone will be no more.
We'll have more on Smith's decision tomorrow, but here is what Ty-Meer Brown (McKeesport QB the past two seasons) had to say about Smith: "If he's not the best coach in the WPIAL, he's one of the best. A lot of people looked past what he does. But he didn't just make us better football players. He made us better people.
"He's definitely going to be missed. There were people who criticized him, but just look at what he did for McKeesport. ... Just the little things he did were important. Like, there were a lot of kids who turned out to be Division I college players due to Coach Smith. He got them into colleges.
"He always just demanded our best. That's all he really ever wanted."
Smith won two WPIAL and two PIAA titles.