MIKE SMITH'S DEPARTURE FROM HOLT NO SURPRISE

     News Ten's Jeremy Sampson uncovered the story last month-- that Holt High School football coach Mike Smith likely would leave to join the staff at Olivet College and eventually become head coach at that MIAA school.  On Tuesday the word became official.  Smith was busy in Olivet Tuesday signing papers.  He spent 14 years as head coach at Holt after similar stints at Dansville and Eaton Rapids.  His teams were winners and last season the Rams were 11-1.  They had not lost a league game since the 2004 season and a number of his players earned college scholarships.

     Smith played at Michigan State in the early 1970s.  He is well liked and respected and he loves working with kids.  They respect him and they buy into his program strategy.  Holt became one of the state's elite division one programs over the years.  Dominic Livedotti is still the head coach and athletic director at Olivet, but eventually he'll serve just as the A-D and Smith will take over.  He will retire from the school district at the end of this year.  Everyone in Holt and the CAAC knew about Smith's move but Tuesday it finally became official.

     Holt will post the job in another week and wants to move quickly to find a successor.  Two CAAC blue division jobs are now open, Lansing Eastern being the other.  That school apparently is down to two candidates but the district has no announcement to make and there is no word on when a successor to the fired Eddie Saade will be named.  Holt's search will likely be far more organized than what it always seems to be when Eastern is searching for a coach.  Harsh-- but true and that's why Holt wins and Eastern is 12-69 over the past nine seasons.

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