GUYTON — Nick Smith had just sat down at his desk to start his new job as athletic director at South Effingham High School on Monday morning when his phone rang.
And it rang again and again.
“My phone began to ring off the hook,” Smith said. “But that’s what I’m here for, I’m here to help. There’s a lot of things going on at once and every situation is important and we’re working to get everything done.”
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Smith, the former assistant principal at SEHS, took over for Jeff Faith, who left to become the assistant coordinator serving Crossroads Academy and enCompass Academy in the school district.
Faith was the Mustangs’ athletic director for six years and an assistant principal for 11 years.
Smith has been at South Effingham in various roles for more than 10 years. He coached the linebackers on the football team before becoming coach Donnie Revell’s defensive coordinator.
Smith also coached the golf team.
The Lyons native played football and baseball at Toombs County High School for Mark Stroud, now the head football coach at Calvary Day School in Savannah.
Smith earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Georgia Southern University.
“Nick is very committed to the Effingham County school district and South Effingham,” school district superintendent Yancy Ford said. “He has the ability to connect people when there are issues and I think he’ll continue to move South Effingham forward.”
Smith’s first coaching job was at Effingham County High School as a linebackers coach. Smith also spent a year coaching at Toombs County High School.
He arrived at South in 2010 and taught history classes — AP government, civics and current issues — along with coaching.
“South is a great place,” Smith said. “Coach Faith did a great job and there’s a solid foundation here. There’s a lot of great things happening. I’m just looking to build on what’s been established and continue to grow the school.”
Smith is married with two children: daughter Adalyn, 9, and son Ace, 6. Both children are involved in sports.
Now Smith runs the Mustangs’ growing family of athletic programs. SEHS will add girls flag football next fall.
“For me, to start with, it’ll be about relationships,” Smith said. “I want to build relationships with the coaches and be someone they can trust. I want to build relationships with the student-athletes and see them grow as people and grow as players. Anything we can do to help them progress, I’ll certainly support that.”