Smartt tapped to lead CHHS baseball program

Published 8:45 am Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Charles Henderson High School alum Chase Smartt is the new head baseball coach for the Trojans.

“He’s going to take our program to the next level,” said CHHS Principal Lise Fayson. “He knows baseball more than any other candidate and he is ready for this. We need somebody young to revitalize this program.”

Smartt graduated from Charles Henderson High School in 2015. During his time at CHHS, he was a five-year starter and the Trojans won two AHSAA 4A state championships.

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After spending his high school and college career in Troy, Smartt is eager to start his coaching career at home.

“It’s a great opportunity for me,” Smartt said. “I wanted to start my coaching career, and there is no better place to start. It’s a place I know inside and out. The City of Troy is a great place and there is a lot of baseball talent.”

Even though Smartt has no formal experience as a head coach, he feels the support staff around him will offer him plenty of help.

“I have good people around me,” Smartt said. “They will help push me in the right direction. (The principal) Mrs. Fayson, the Superintendent, Mrs. Thomas, and Brad McCoy, those three are great people and they will point me in the right direction.”

Smartt was listed as one of the state’s best high school players and set several school records while playing at Troy University, before spending one season in independent pro baseball.

In 2013, he was named the ASWAA 4A All-State Catcher and State Finals MVP; in 2014, ASWAA Super All-State and 4A Hitter of the Year; in 2015, ASWAA 5A Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year, and named Dothan Eagle Player of the Year. Smartt ranks second in ASHAA for most hits, with 290; third for most doubles, with 74; ninth in all-time in AHSAA history with a career batting average of .487; and 10th for most RBIs, with 196.

Perfect Game ranked Smartt as the 31st best catcher in the nation coming out of high school. As a senior, Smartt hit over .500 with seven home runs and 50 RBI.

He was named the Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year and was also named on the Max Preps National Player of the Year Watch List.

After finishing his high school career, Smartt was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 35th round of the MLB Draft. He chose to play at Troy University.

In his four years at Troy, Smartt had a .262 batting average with 12 home runs and 118 RBI and one NCAA Regionals appearance. In 2019 he was named 1st Team All-Sun Belt Catcher and 3rd Team All-American Catcher. He ranks first in school history for most games played at 222; third for at-bats with 816; sixth for hits at 214; and fifth for doubles, 47.

Following his senior season, Smartt was named to the Collegiate Baseball All-America Third-Team.

After his time with the Trojans, Smartt played baseball for the New Jersey Jackals of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball. Smartt and the Jackals won their first-ever CAN-AM championship in 2019. After hitting .240 with nine doubles and 15 RBI, Smartt was traded in the offseason to the Washington Wild Things of the Frontier League.

“It’s awesome to see an alum want to come back and coach this program,” Fayson said. “Chase had the opportunity to coach at a college level, but he wanted to come here to CHHS.”

Smartt joins the rest of his family as a coach. Chase’s father is the head baseball coach at Troy University and his mother, Debbie, is the volleyball coach at Charles Henderson Middle School. Chase’s sister, Taylor, is an assistant coach with the Troy softball team.

“All four of us are Coach Smartt now,” Chase said. “I have three people ahead of me with coaching experience. I can learn from them.”