Mike Smith adapting to unchartered waters as new Woodlan football coach

March 20, 2020

Mike Smith Woodlan

When Mike Smith was hired as Woodlan's new football coach in early March, little did he know what the first few weeks of leading the Warrior program would be like.

With East Allen County Schools closing from March 16 through May 1, Smith has yet to meet with his team a whole, instead speaking with a handful of players and taking to social media to set plans for his first head coaching venture.

"It's definitely been a challenge not being able to meet," Smith told ParkviewSportsMedicine.com over the phone. "It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing."

Smith has started a Woodlan football website to keep players updated; and he's leaving his @Woodlan_FB Twitter inbox open to communicate with his team. He regularly keeps tabs on his players during their hiatus, making sure they are completing their e-Learning assignments and doing off-season workouts on their own.

“It’s about building reltionahips with the kids," he adds.

Smith's journey to Woodlan is filled with years of plying his craft as an assistant coach at the high school and college levels. Over the last 20 years, he has been an assistant coach at Trine, DeKalb, East Noble, Prairie Heights, Angola, Manchester University, Methodist College and Tiffin. Now, he gets his chance at Woodlan to take what he's learned at all those stops. East Noble head coach Luke Amstutz and retired Trine assistant Maury Waugh have served as great resources for him in starting a program, he says.

Smith was attracted to Woodlan through it's tradition of winning, the upgrading of facilities at the school and the chance to develop a program from varsity on down that the Woodburn commmunity can be proud of. He says expect Woodlan to play fast and aggressive. He has filled most of his staff, a mixture of new faces and coaches who previously roamed the sidelines at Woodlan.

"I wanted the opportunity to run my own program, and do things my own way," Smith says.

Woodlan is one of 26 high schools that partners with Parkview Sports Medicine for athletic training, nutrition, sports performance, athletic rehab and other sports medicine services Warrior student-athletes. Learn more at www.parkviewsportsmedicine. 

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