Legendary Bradley Central basketball coach Kent Smith has decided to make his leave of absence from the Bear program permanent.
Citing health reasons following knee replacement surgery, the winningest coach in Bear history announced in October he was stepping aside for the 2013-14 season, but late this morning told the media he has decided not to return.
In 17 seasons on the Bear bench, Smith posted 436 wins, compared to just 143 losses, for a better than .750 winning percentage. Under the direction of Smith’s longtime assistant coach Chuck Clark this past season, the Bears went 16-12 and won the District 5-AAA regular season title with a 10-2 mark. Clark was voted District Coach of the Year by his fellow coaches.
Smith led Bradley to five TSSAA State Championship Tournaments, finishing runner-up in both 2000 and 2003. The Bears also won nine district and eight region championships under his tutelage.
Full details from the late morning press conference will be in Tuesday’s edition of the Banner.