Gary Smith is out as Battleground Academy boys basketball coach after 36 years.
Smith took over in the 1973-1974 season and is believed to be the longest serving basketball coach in the Nashville area.
In his two best seasons, Smith guided his team consecutive Class A state championships (prior to DII) in 1993 and 1994. In the latter season, the Wildcats pulled off a huge upset of powerful Goodpasture, which had future NBA-bound player Ron Mercer.
The Wildcats were undefeated in ’93 at 33-0. That was arguably Smith’s best team.
Under Smith, the Wildcats have made numerous trips to the state tournament but have fallen off in recent years.
“While his teams have experienced great success on the courts, Gary’s biggest achievement has been in ensuring that his players represented BGA with honor and dignity both on and off the court,” BGA Head of School John Griffith said. “He has made great contributions to BGA in building and sustaining our boys basketball program and we look forward to honoring Gary for his basketball coaching legacy in the future.”
BGA is creating a search committee to find a replacement, and former BGA girls coach Len McNatt is considered to be a candidate.
Smith will continue to serve as varsity golf coach and member of the faculty.