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J. Thomas McNamara

    Provided there is a season, the 2020-21 year will be Rob Smith’s last as Central A&M’s boys basketball head coach.
    While Smith has resigned as basketball coach, he will remain there as one of Brent Weakly’s football assistants for the time being and as a teacher.
    Smith said he is not ready to give reasons for his resignation at this time, but that it is not either family or health related.
With the 2020-21 season in doubt, Smith’s record after 11 years at Central A&M is 190-133 and 245-189 overall.
    There has to be a boys basketball season this year because I want Smith to have a farewell tour through the Central Illinois Conference that he’s earned.  Coaching 11 years in this environment where every coaches action is fair game for social media, Smith deserves a nice sendoff which he will receive from this chronicler of prep sports for 45 years.
    On his pending resignation, Smith offered these thoughts, “I am thankful for the opportunity that Central A&M gave me and all the support we have had from the board, administration, parents, and staff over the years.  It has been a great 11 years.  God has blessed me immensely.  This was not an easy decision, but certainly was not a spur of the moment decision.  It is one that has been made with a great deal of thought, discussion, and prayer with friends and family.  There are a multitude of reasons, and not one defining reason, other than this timing feels right.
    “As for the timing, I don’t see a path forward towards a season this year.  I want to give the administration ample time to find a suitable replacement, and am hopeful the great staff we have assembled will be able to stay together.
    “I really hope I am wrong for the kids’ sake about there not being a season, and look forward to working with this great group of kids this season if provided that opportunity.  I also look forward to continuing my work with the football program and in the classroom at Central A&M.
    “I am proud of what all our players have accomplished on and off the court and for what they will continue to accomplish on and off the court.  I have been so lucky and will cherish all the memories.
“I have had tremendous assistants in all of my years at Central A&M and am thankful for what they have done for the program as well.  Most of all I am thankful to God and my family,” concluded Smith’s statement to the Decatur Tribune.


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