Northside Coach Earns 500th Career Win

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Smith celebrates Northside's 69-66 win against North Little Rock in the 2010-11 semifinals. Courtesty Fort Smith Public Schools

Wins haven’t exactly been hard to come by for Rickey Smith in his coaching career.

The Northside Lady Bears coach picked up career win No. 500 on Thursday night as Northside pounded Jonesboro 60-20 in the opening round of the Fat City Classic in Jonesboro.

“We played a lot better tonight than we have been,” Smith said. “This is the first time we’ve played like I thought we were capable of.”

Northside has jumped out to a 4-0 start this season.

Smith has averaged more than 24 wins a season in his 21 year coaching career, the last 19 coming at Northside. Smith is now 500-103, a career winning percentage of 82.9 percent.

“All that winning, and all of that, it’s not that big of a deal to me,” Smith said. “Maybe one day it might. The thing I am most proud of is the winning percentage. That, to me, means more than the number. The number just means you’ve been around a long time.”

Northside is the defending champion of the Fat City Classic and will face Paragould in the semifinals Friday night.

“I have had a lot of great players,” Smith said. “I was just in the right place at the right time. Right now I am worried about 501.”

Smith is 452-93 at Northside with five state championships, three state runner ups, and 12 conference championships since taking over prior to the 1994-95 season.