YARMOUTH—Rich Smith, the Godfather of the Yarmouth girls’ soccer program and the only coach in its 29-year varsity history, announced Wednesday that he is retiring from his position.
Smith, in an email to the Yarmouth soccer community he titled, “An Affectionate Farewell,” didn’t mention a specific reason for stepping down, but his message stressed how much he enjoyed his time with the Clippers.
“For the past 28 years, I have had the great fortune of being the varsity girls’ soccer coach,” Smith said, in the email. “For all those years I have loved my job. I can honestly say that every minute I have spent with Yarmouth soccer players has been an honor and a privilege. The parents and the kids have been awesome.
“I always hoped that when I retired from the girls’ program, I would be able to leave with the program in great shape and I am proud to say that it is. We have 40 great kids coming back next year, tons of talent, amazing senior leadership and some of the finest kids I have ever met. I will miss coaching and I will especially miss the girls.
“As sad as I am to say goodbye, I am excited for the girls to get a new coach, a new outlook and a fresh start. I can’t wait to go to the games and cheer the team on. I am and will always be a Clipper at heart. If the team ever needs to know why the geese fly in ‘V formation’ or why they need ‘Clear eyes and full hearts,’ I will always be available.”
Yarmouth athletic director Susan Robbins thanked Smith for his time with the Clippers.
“Coach Smith has done an excellent job of promoting and developing girls’ soccer in the town of Yarmouth,” Robbins said. “I would like to personally thank Coach Smith for all of the time and effort he has given to our many programs in town and wish him the very best.”
Smith, who also teaches fifth grade at Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth, led the Clippers to 245 victories, three regional titles and the 1995 and 2003 Class B state championships. He was named Northern edition girls’ team Coach of the Year by The Forecaster in 2010.
The Clippers went 7-6-3 in 2015, losing, 2-1, to eventual state champion Greely in the Class B South semifinals. Yarmouth was one of just two teams to beat the Rangers, arguably the state’s strongest team, during the regular season and gave them their only close postseason contest.