Brownwood High School athletic director Bob Shipley announced Tuesday that Lions varsity baseball head coach and freshman football coach Jeremy Smith has resigned effective Nov. 20.

Smith, a Brownwood graduate, will be leaving school after the conclusion of football season and will be joining his father in the automobile business.

I have been very fortunate to work in such a great school district for the last seven and a half years, Smith said. I have also been blessed to work with some of the greatest kids in the state. The kids in Brownwood are truly special. We have had great success in the baseball and football programs and it is a true reflection of the kids.

This decision has been prayed about and an opportunity has come to join a family business. This is a decision I believe that is best for my family. I look forward to being a big supporter of BISD and my two sons one day becoming Brownwood Lions.

During his three seasons as Lions head baseball coach, Smith a two-time district coach of the year posted a 62-33 record with two district championships and a pair of playoff appearances, including a run to the Region I-3A championship round in 2011.

Ive been very fortunate to have Coach Smith as a co-worker and a friend over the past three and a half years, Shipley said. Hes done an outstanding job with our baseball program as well as being the head football coach for our ninth grade team. He has always done more than he was asked to do and thats a wonderful quality about him. Hell be missed for sure, but I wish him the best of luck as he moves on to the next phase of his life.

Added Smith, I would like to thank Coach (Steve) Freeman for giving me an opportunity to come to Brownwood as a young coach and Coach Shipley for allowing me to stay on with his staff and become the head baseball coach. Coach Shipley has been very understanding and caring during this process and I thank him for that. I will always bleed maroon regardless of my job title.

Brownwood Middle School athletic coordinator Blake Sandford, who guided Early to the Region I-2A championship round in 2005, is being moved up to replace Smith as head baseball coach.

Sandford joined the staff at Brownwood this year, coming from Lubbock Coronado High School. Sandford has served as head baseball coach at Early, Sweetwater, Hamilton and Bremond. While at Early, Sandford was named West Texas Coach of the Year.

In addition, Sandford worked 10 years as a scout for the Cincinnati Reds baseball organization. Sandford will finish out the school year as the Middle School athletic coordinator in addition to being head baseball coach.

Were so fortunate to have someone like Blake Sandford on our staff that is very capable of taking over our baseball program, Shipley said. Hes been a successful head coach in the past and I see no reason why he wont continue that here in Brownwood. You dont have to talk to Coach Sandford long to tell he loves kids and is in this business for the right reasons. I think he can help kids by not only working with them on their skills, but also relating to them his experiences as a pro baseball scout.