View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 2/2

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: February 6, 2015 - 9:43 AM



When a program hires a new coach there is always change. Even if that coach had already been on staff there are a few things the new guy does differently.

When that coach comes from outside the program there can be a lot of changes because the new coach usually doesn’t know that much about the inner workings of the players and the assistants.

That isn’t quite the case at Pleasant Hill. After last season longtime coach Kyle Roach retired as a head coach and the job came open. Last week Greg Smith was announced as the new coach. Smith has been the head coach at Smithville for more than a decade leading them to some of their most successful seasons in school history.

You would think Smith would be working a little blind as he begins his time in Pleasant Hill but this far from the normal situation. There are a few factors working in his favor.

First Smithville has played Pleasant Hill to start the last three seasons and will again this year. That leads to some familiarity right there. Also Pleasant Hill has participated in Smithville’s summer team camp for the last few seasons so they have seen each other on a regular basis.

The final factor is a more personal one. Smith and Roach are very good friends. Both have been longtime members of the board of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association and both are past presidents.

They are very good friends, not just colleagues making this one of the more rare coaching changes in the Metro. One friend takes over for another. That usually happens when an assistant coach is promoted not when a coach comes in from the outside. Greg Smith told me Roach is one of his very best friends in the world and it was an honor to be taking over for him.

There is a lot of respect between most coaches in the Metro. This is a group of men who, because of the strength of the GKCFCA, generally like each other and work together to make football in the Metro better.

Roach and Smith are examples of this group and have led it four of the last seven years. Smith’s transition should be an easy one and one that he should enjoy as he continues the strong work put in by Roach.

It’s a unique situation but one that players, parents and fans will be glad that it happened.