John E. “Jack” Smith
Jack Smith was coach of the Harrisonburg High School boy’s tennis team during the time that HHS was the dominant Group AA program in Virginia. When he became coach in 1973 HHS had won four consecutive state championships. Smith coached the team to state championships in 1973, 1974, 1975, and 1976. Between 1973 and 1986 HHS won 11 district, 8 regional and 4 state championships. Individual Blue Streaks won 9 regional and 1 state singles championship and 7 regional and 1 state doubles championship.
In 19 seasons overall under Coach Smith, the Blue Streaks compiled a record of 237 wins and 68 losses, the 237 wins are the most in HHS history. In 1976 Coach Smith was named Southeast Regional Tennis Coach of the Year and was a finalist for National Coach of the Year. In addition to coaching tennis, Jack also coached the Thomas Harrison Middle School boy’s basketball team for 28 years. His teams achieved a record of 269 wins and 89 losses, with 6 undefeated seasons. These teams provided the beginning basketball experience for many future Blue Streak players.
Coach Smith graduated from Chester High school (South Carolina), where he was an All-Regional basketball player. He was selected to play in the Coaches All-Star game the summer following his senior year. After serving three years in the Army, Jack moved to Harrisonburg to attend Madison College (JMU). He joined the Harrisonburg City Schools in 1971 and served as a teacher and coach until his retirement in 2000. Jack and his wife Mary Lynne have two sons, Jeff and Doug, both of whom were Blue Streak athletes, and 7 grandchildren.