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Smartt following father’s lead, enters coaching profession

Published 7:30pm Tuesday, August 19, 2014

During last week’s press conference to name Mark Smartt as the next head baseball coach at Troy, one his fellow coaches had tears rolling down her face and an ear-to-ear grin.

But this coach holds an extra special place in Mark’s heart. It is his daughter, Taylor.

Taylor Smartt will enter the coaching profession this fall with the Troy softball team, following a stellar four-year career with the Trojans.

With the fundamentals of baseball and softball being closely tied, Taylor said she would use lessons from dad in her coaching.

“I have learned so many things from my dad over the years,” Taylor said. “He always wanted us to make sure that we were doing the right thing, even if no one was there to see it. I want to instill that same kind of attitude in my players.”

Smartt finished here career by appearing in every game during her junior and senior seasons. During her career, she drove in 40 RBIs and hit three home runs.

For her entire life, Taylor has known her dad as “the coach.” Now, she will know him as her colleague.

“We had a staff meeting the other day, and he kind of looked at me and said ‘What are you doing here?’” Taylor said. “It will be new relationship. When I call him not, it won’t be as a player. I will be able to ask him a question as a coach, and I know he will give me his honest opinion.”

Smartt has loved the game of softball since she was a small child. She played her way through the recreation leagues, and starred for the Charles Henderson Lady Trojans in high school.

Now, Smartt gets to continue her love for the game as a coach and gets to share her experiences to help other players develop.

“I love the game and I don’t want to get out of it,” Taylor said. “I really find happiness in seeing others succeed. Seeing kids get excited when they do things they never thought they could do is amazing. I can’t wait to help these girls do big things.”

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