Smitherman earns scholarship toward coaching dream

Published 4:07 pm Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tyler Smitherman plans to become a coach one day and received scholarship during a banquet on Jan. 28 in Montgomery that will help in that quest.

He was the recipient of the Dan Washburn Scholarship, which is awarded annually by the Alabama Football Coaches Association to a scholar-athlete that has exhibited the intentions of going into a career in coaching.

“That night is something that I can look back on for quite some time,” Smitherman said. “It was definitely an experience to be there and have your name called.”

The scholarship is named after former AHSAA Executive Director Dan Washburn, who served 17 in that position and was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in 2011.

Smitherman’s goal is to receive a Masters degree in education from the University of Montevallo and plans to one day become a football coach.

He is well known throughout the Isabella community, having been a player and deeply involved in multiple sports since a young age.

Over the years, Smitherman has found out that coaching fits who he is as a person and what he hopes to gain from his life.

“I like interacting with kids and they seem to appreciate me as well,” Smitherman said.

The scholarship was a statewide honor with the selection covering every school in all seven athletic classifications. It is worth $2,000 and will be used to help pay for college tuition.

He was aware of being nominated prior to the banquet, but was still in for a surprise after he and his family were informed upon arrival that an extra $500 was being added to bring the total to $2,000.

According to Smitherman, several coaches over the years have had a lasting influence on him, but none more than his father, who has been by his side every step of the way and introduced what it means to be a coach and mentor.

Isabella was represented twice during the banquet, as Jared Day was also named the assistant coach of the year in Class 1A.

“I said early on that I wanted to leave a mark and show the rest of the county what Isabella is capable of,” Smitherman said. “I believe that this goes a long way in doing that.”