Asheboro turns to Eastern Randolph alum as volleyball coach

ASHEBORO – Kelly Smith has been hired as the new volleyball coach at Asheboro.

Smith will be the team’s third volleyball coach in three years. She replaces Kim Black, whose third stint as head coach of the program lasted just one year.

Smith, an Eastern Randolph alum, was coach of her alma mater’s volleyball team in 2017 and 2018 before going to Southern Guilford for three years. She spent time as volleyball and girls’ basketball coach at Southern Guilford, though without a winning season.

She has been away from varsity competition during this school year.

“I felt like I wanted to come back into the gym,” Smith said of returning to the varsity level.

Smith was a volleyball and basketball standout at Eastern Randolph, graduating in 2006. She played basketball collegiately at West Virginia and East Carolina.

In 2022, Asheboro went 7-15 with a 4-6 record in the Mid-Piedmont Conference. Black, who guided the Blue Comets to the 1994 Class 3-A state championship, is the all-time winningest coach in Asheboro volleyball history with a 253-112 record.

Smith works as a physical education teacher at North Asheboro Middle School. She said in her time with Asheboro City Schools that she has felt connected to the high school because of the close relationship between the district’s schools.

While she didn’t attend Blue Comets volleyball matches in 2022, she saw some practices because the high school team used the middle school gym while renovations take place at the high school.

During the past few months, Smith has coached volleyball and girls’ basketball at the middle school. She said she intends to remain as the volleyball coach at North Asheboro Middle School with that season in the second half of the school year. With middle school operating for grades 6-12, she could have a seven-year connection with some players.

“It works perfect,” she said.

Smith, who lives in Franklinville, said an Eastern Randolph-Asheboro non-conference volleyball match has been scheduled for 2023.

By Bob Sutton