Confirmed victory
Petitioning Toms River Board of Education

Retain Brett Smith as the North lacrosse coach.

If you do not agree with the Board's consideration to let Coach Smith go, please sign this.

Letter to
Toms River Board of Education
I just signed the following petition addressed to: Toms River Board of Education.

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Dear Board Members:

I am writing this letter in regards to the pending hearing for Mr. Brett Smith. I have known Mr. Smith since I was in 8th grade and have been close with him ever since. Recently I became aware that his position as the Head Lacrosse Coach and, more importantly, an educator may be in jeopardy. As you can imagine, this news is shocking and distressing to my family and me. While I do not know the severity of the hearing, the fact that this is even an issue is sickening to me.

On the field, Coach Smith was very effective at what he did. From the very first day we hit the field every season, we knew exactly what was expected of us. In fact, it was laid out so clearly for us that we were presented a packet of team rules that both players and their parents were made aware of. This approach provided our team with a model of consistency throughout the entire season. This discipline allowed the Toms River North lacrosse program to win at least a share of a division title in 3 of its first 4 years in existence. In addition to this, Coach Smith produced several All-Division, All-County, All-Shore and All-State players. I also attribute my 2007 All-American accomplishment solely to Coach Smith. Without hesitation, I can confidently say that Mr. Smith is the most knowledgeable coach I have ever come across in any sport. I am sure that I speak on behalf of all other TR North lacrosse alumni in saying that we would have not reached even half of our potential as lacrosse players without Coach Smith’s help.

As the years went on, I got to know Mr. Smith off the field as well. While I never had him in class, I have heard nothing but good things about the way that Mr. Smith ran his classroom. However, the attitude that Mr. Smith took towards academics during lacrosse season really showed his true character. Coach always pushed to make sure that his players were keeping their grades up and willingly allowed them to miss practice time in order to get any extra help. He even went so far as to check in with his players’ teachers on his own time to make sure that everyone was succeeding. Coach Smith was the perfect example of a coach who understood that the word “student” is the most important part of the term “student-athlete”.

Most importantly, Coach Smith is an all-around good person. I can remember Coach telling us at the beginning of each season that our priorities during the season were (in this order): family, school and then lacrosse. Coach Smith took the time to make sure that every one of his players was a gentleman at all times. From respecting authority, to wearing shirts and ties on game days, Mr. Smith took every opportunity available to mold his players into men. I know for a fact that I would not be in my position without the guidance of Coach Smith.

Mr. Smith’s first priority was family. Family is what Coach Smith is to me now. Even though I am 5 years removed from North Lacrosse, he is still the person I make sure I see every time I am home. He knows everything about me and what is happening in my life at all times. My parents and even my grandmother are all just as close with him and constantly make efforts to stay in contact with him. I know that they are extremely grateful for him giving me some discipline and order in what can, for most, be turbulent high school years. From being there for every one of his players 24/7, to organizing the Hirtes Hike, and producing many college level lacrosse plays, Coach Smith does it all and expects only one thing in return: for his players and his students to be as committed to the final product as he is. With this in hand, Coach Smith has taught me the most important life lesson I have ever learned; accountability. If you do not do what you agreed and promised to do, there will be consequences. Without consequences, there is no lesson learned and there is no order. Without consequences, nothing would ever be accomplished. Without consequences, there are no rules, there is no purpose and there is absolutely zero accountability.

Coach Smith is one of the few shining stars that maintain the ability to mold the next generation into upstanding citizens. Mr. Smith has gone 9 seasons as coach of this program without any problems. He has also been a respected teacher at North for even longer. By allowing one small group of people who have a problem with consequences govern this decision, you are becoming an enabler. You will set a precedent that whenever an individual is not accountable and committed, they can simply have their superior fired and everything will be all right. I know that is not the type of world I would want my children to grow up in and I am sure everyone on your board feels the same.
If Mr. Brett Smith is fired as coach and as an educator, that action will be doing this community a great disservice. It will rob any future children from the chance of knowing Mr. Smith. Furthermore, if Mr. Smith is let go, I will no longer be proud to call myself an alumnus of Toms River High School North in any way. However, I will always be a proud graduate of Coach Brett Smith’s lacrosse program.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at (908)-489-1511 or email me at mleone@udel.edu. Thank you for your time and I trust that, in the end, you will do the right thing.


Sincerely,
Matt Leone, TRN Class of 2007