Chad Smith gets his shot at turning around the Roseburg High School girls basketball program.
The 47-year-old, who was an assistant coach with the team under Bob Feasel in the early 2000s, was selected the new head coach, athletic director Russ Bolin announced Wednesday.
“Chad is one of the most organized coaches I have, is a great communicator and will bring some work ethic and intensity to the program,” Bolin said. “He’s on campus, which is a big benefit for the kids. I’m excited for the young ladies involved in our basketball program.”
Smith replaces Dane Tornell, who resigned after guiding the Indians for two years and finished with a record of 4-45. Tornell will be the head girls basketball coach at Umpqua Valley Christian.
Smith will be Roseburg’s third head coach in four seasons.
“My kids are both older and I felt this was a good fit to get back into it,” Smith said. “I want the girls to have an opportunity to experience some success, not to say I can bring it to them right away. But when I was with Bob (Feasel), we had some very good ballplayers and he instilled a good system that made them successful.”
The Indians have struggled through four straight losing seasons and haven’t won a Southwest Conference game since 2018.
“Losing becomes a habit. Losing is easier to do than winning,” Smith said. “Teaching the girls to push through in the fourth quarter, when they’re right there and have an opportunity to get a win, will be hard the first couple of times. We’ll be trying to make that switch in mentality.
“It’s a long road,” Smith added. “It’s not something where there’s a magic cure for it and we’ll take care of it this year. We hope to build a foundation for the future.”
Smith will inherit three returning varsity players from last year — senior guards Jazmyn Murphy and Kalina Anderson and junior post Chelsea Miller. Murphy was Roseburg’s top scorer last year and received honorable mention all-conference.
“We’re not going to have positions on the team. The girls will be interchangeable and be able to play all positions,” Smith said. “I’d love to be an up-tempo team, but we’re not there yet. Some games you have to run opportunistically ... we can’t run with teams like Sheldon and South Medford and we’ll have games where we have to slow things down.
“We’ll take pride in the defense we play. It’ll be our calling card, whether man or zone. The offense comes and goes, but the one thing that always needs to be there is the ability to play defense so we can stay in games.”
Smith said two members of Tornell’s coaching staff last year — Sasha Aumock and Jerry Walker — will be on his staff along with Bill Bartlett.
Smith, a science teacher at RHS, is entering his 22nd year at the school. He’s been the head boys golf coach for over a decade and previously was the girls golf coach. He also coached football under Thurman Bell.