|Title:||Head Football Coach|
Northeast Head Football Coach Ricky Smither returns for his fourth year at the helm for the Tigers football program entering into the 2011 season.
In his first year as head coach in 2008 Smither's overall record was 1-8 however, he was able to improve to 2-6 overall in 2009 with three of the six losses going into extra periods. One of the biggest wins for Smither since becoming the go to guy at NEMCC came in a 28-21 victory over the Tigers arch rivals Itawamba Community College in September of 2009.
However, in 2010, Smither proved that he was the man for the job as theTiger football continued to get better as his team posted its twelfth winning season in the college’s 51-year football history when Smither’s troops finished with a 5-4 overall record and a 4-2 mark in the Mississippi Association of Community/Junior Colleges (MACJC) North Division in 2010. Northeast’s 4-2 mark in the North Division helped the Tigers finish in a tie for second place in the ultra competitive North Division.
Smither helped Northeast garnered national attention during week six of the season after the Tigers were able to knock off defending MACJC State Champion East Mississippi 49-42 in a shootout in Scooba where Tiger running back Jaquise Cook (Ripley) Ran for 267 yards and four scores against the Lions. Cook was awarded the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Player of the Week honors following his week six performance.
In addition to posting the team’s first winning season since 2005, under the direction of Smither, the Tiger football team also captured the attention of the national media when Northeast was included in the NJCAA National Top 20 Football Poll for the week of October 19, 2010 at No. 18 after the Tigers opened up the season 5-2.
Smither's journey to commander-in-chief for NEMCC first presented itself back on July 3, 2008 when he became the college’s 13th head football coach in school history.
Smither began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Delta State University in 1995, later accepting a coaching position at Cleveland (Miss.) High School in 1997. He made the move to community college coaching in 1998, joining the staff at Coahoma Community College. From 1999-2006, Smither enjoyed stints at East Side High School (Miss.), H.L. Bourgeois High School (Louisiana), while also working at the Division-I level as an assistant coach at Mississippi Valley State University (2002-04).
Smither came on board at Northeast as the assistant football coach, coaching up the offensive line, in February of 2007, before Smither accepted the job as the Tigers head coach.
Coach Smither enjoyed success as the Tigers' offensive line coach in his first season at NEMCC. His first o-line group at Northeast sported two four-year college signees: Reggie Wade (Jacksonville State) and Greg Magnifico (Belhaven).
Since becoming the head coach, Smither has continued to help his sophomores move their gridiron careers on to four year universities.
Some of his most recent players to move on, after the 2009-10 campaigns, were standouts like defensive tackle John Brown, who signed with the University of Tenneesee, and safety LaDarrius Madden along with offensive lineman DeMarkus Underwood who both signed to play for the Univeristy of Troy, while another safety John Ware inked with the University of North Alabama, and wide-out Josh Jarboe signed with Arkansas State.
Smither graduated from Delta State University with a Master's in Education. Ricky and his wife Lynn have two children; Russ and Kaitlyn.