Boca Ciega’s Max Smith steps down as football coach

Boca Ciega’s Max Smith, who led the program to consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in school history, has stepped down as coach after seven seasons. 

Smith went 35-37 and reached the postseason in three of the last five seasons during his tenure. 

“Seven years coaching at the same school is a long time,” Smith said. “I just needed to hit the reset button and think about where I want to be and what I want to do as a coach.”

The decision to walk away was something Smith thought about since last season. He decided to stay because he had a veteran team returning. The Pirates went 8-2, outscoring opponents by a combined 308-119. It was the third-best single season record in school history.

“I felt like this was the right time to make this move,” Smith said. 

This was Smith’s second head coaching job in Pinellas County. He spent 2011-12 as Dunedin coach, going 10-10 in those two seasons, before leaving to become a graduate assistant at the University of Toledo. 

After one year at the college level, Smith returned to Pinellas County, this time at Boca Ciega. 

He struggled his first two seasons with the Pirates, winning a combined four games in 2014-15, before turning the program into consistent playoff contenders. 

“I’m proud of what I was able to do at Boca Ciega,” Smith said. “The program is in much better shape. And I never had a kid leave or bring in one from one another school. That says something.”