PARAGOULD, Ark. (KAIT) - Tyler Smith drove in 29 runs for the Red Wolves in 2011, the pride of Paragould also showed off his cannon.
After spending 5 seasons in the minors, he decided to make the switch to coaching. Smith started at a familiar place: Three Rivers College. He was hired as an assistant in 2015 under record setting head coach Stacey Burkey.
“Playing is really easy,” Smith said Thursday. “As a player, I always knew how to go do stuff. As a coach, you really have to learn how to get people that you’re not in control of to understand what you want them to do. And the ability for them to be successful. And it’s hard, communication and all that stuff. And then just a constant learning curve on the recruiting process.”
Tyler’s father Randy has coached Legion ball for over 30 years, son works with dad on the Paragould Glen Sain GMC staff. This summer is a special one for that reason along with a new opportunity. Burkey retired as 3R head coach after 27 seasons and 604 wins. Tyler was promoted last month to succeed the Raider legend.
“I’m a 3rd generation Raider. My dad played there, I played there, my sister played there. So it’s kind of a family atmosphere. And every one of us has been a Raider. And then to come back after playing, and to get the assistant job, and then move into the head coaching role, it’s a perfect situation. It’s something I could have never really dreamed about. It’s just amazing that it’s happened. Extremely blessed.”
It’s been quite the summer juggling duties in Poplar Bluff & Paragould.