Homewood-Flossmoor girls basketball coach Tony Smith didn’t get the answer he wanted to hear Tuesday night when the District 233 school board voted not to bring him back for the 2014-15 school year.
Whether he coaches anywhere next season is the next question. Another emotional Tuesday awaits on April 22.
That’s the day the Illinois High School Association’s board of directors will meet to discuss the status of his “indefinite suspension” as a result of participation violations and allegations of illegal recruiting.
“Absolutely, we expect a positive outcome next week,” Smith’s lawyer, Patrick J. Mayerbock said. “Tony is a fantastic coach with a great deal to offer. The first thing is to get him back on track, get him coaching and doing what he does best.”
IHSA Executive Director Marty Hickman said he’s confident that Smith’s fate will be decided at the meeting.
“Either they’ll say, ‘We’re going to end Tony’s suspension, or we’re going to continue with his suspension to a certain point and time. Those are really the two options.
“Obviously we’ll report (H-F’s actions) to the board next week, and they’ll do what they think is the right thing to do. Personally, I don’t know that that decision will, one way or another, have a whole lot of influence on the board’s decision. But we’ll see on Tuesday.”
Neither Smith nor his attorney were present at Tuesday’s emotional school board meeting, during which several players and their parents made passionate appeals on Smith’s behalf — at the same time chiding school administrators for not doing enough in support of the athletes.
“It was best to let them do what they needed to do,” Mayerbock said. “We’ve made our statements and obviously it was out of our hands at that point.”
Ultimately it came down to a 4-3 vote to not renew his contract for next year. When the decision was announced, several of the supporters indicated their dismay.
The board’s decision didn’t eliminate the possibility that Smith could be rehired at H-F, but District 233 Supt. Von Mansfield indicated that it was not being considered.
Mayerbock said he couldn’t discuss possible actions that Smith could take following the board’s decision.
“I think Tony has dedicated himself, and his work speaks for itself,” Mayerbock said. “I don’t think Tony has been given a fair shot, but I can’t go into details.
“Tony is a strong man. That I can say without any hesitation. He’s constantly looking forward to positive things. He has a very positive outlook.”
H-F, meanwhile, appears in the clear with the IHSA. No other sanctions are forthcoming, according to Hickman.
Dan Vosnos wants to create a new billboard for Homewood-Flossmoor.
The day after a controversial school board meeting that ended with the dismissal of girls basketball coach Anthony Smith, the newly named athletic director said he’s relishing the challenge of turning the athletic programs in the right direction.
“Every AD has his challenges,” Vosnos said Wednesday. “I’ve been through some challenging issues in the past. It helps grow you professionally. I’m kind of embracing the opportunity to get my hands dirty.”