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Smith settling into new job with Temple

| Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
(c) 2012 Aaron Loughner
Former Gateway head football coach Terry Smith is getting up to speed as Temple University football’s new wide receivers coach and passing-game coordinator. Aaron Loughner | For The Times Express

The Gateway School Board last week received and accepted the resignation of Terry Smith from his position as head football coach and athletic director, and now, Smith is kicking off his new venture on the other side of the state.

Smith, now an official employee in the athletic department at Temple University, has begun his duties with the Owls football team as wide receivers coach and passing-game coordinator.

“I've met with every receiver on the roster to get a feel for who they are, their expectations of me and my expectations of them,” Smith said. “We had a recruiting weekend this past weekend, and so we had some kids on campus.”

Smith is in the process of making the transition to the Philadelphia area with his family, which includes his wife, Alison, and daughter, Haley.

He is back in the Pittsburgh area this week and is touching base with local schools and coaches.

“I'm excited to get back to the collegiate level,” Smith said. “It is a challenge in a different way from high school. I'm excited to coach football, make that a priority and to take that next step. It's a big career jump, and I'm excited for the opportunity.”

Smith, a Gateway graduate who was an assistant coach at Duquesne from 1997 to 2000, said he will be Temple's recruiting coordinator for the Pittsburgh area, as well as the areas around State College, Johnstown, Erie and into Ohio.

In 11 years as head coach at Gateway, the Gators went 101-30, made the playoffs every season and earned four trips to the WPIAL title game.

Smith said he is grateful for the support he received while coaching at Gateway, including his assistant coaches and all the players who suited up for the teams.

“I was blessed to have good people around me. (Coaches) Russ Gratton and Michael Booth were with me all 11 years, from day one and moment one to the very end,” Smith said.

“There were a number of other coaches who were major parts of the program. The players were tremendous, and they all bought in to what we wanted to accomplish. You can talk about all the superstars, such as Justin King, Mortty Ivy and Dorian Bell, but there were other guys like a Keenan Kimbrough and a Nick Dispenza who you affect just as much as the stars. It was a rewarding 11 years.”

Temple made a resurgence in recent seasons, including a 9-4 season in 2009, and rejoined the Big East in 2012. The Owls went 4-7 overall and 2-5 in the Big East in 2012.

Smith said Temple will be a factor in the new-look Big East next season and down the road. The Owls' 2013 schedule is incomplete at the moment, but a nonconference game at Notre Dame to kick off the season is slated for Aug. 31.

“As I walk in the football offices at Temple, the one glaring thing you notice is that there are no championship trophies,” Smith said. “That presents a challenge for us and a tremendous opportunity for us. Our goal is to win a conference championship. That is what we are recruiting hard to do.”

Michael Love is a staff writer with Trig Total Media. He can be reached at 412- 388- 5825 or at mlove@tribweb.com.

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