Jake Smith has led Randleman to back-to-back state championships in baseball and is taking on additional duties. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record)
State-champion baseball coach expands role at school
RANDLEMAN – Randleman baseball coach Jake Smith has a new job, but he’s not going anywhere because of it.
Smith, who has directed the Tigers to the past two Class 2-A state championships, is adding the athletics director title to his duties.
“I’m going to try my hand at that a little bit,” Smith said. “It’s something I’m excited about.”
He takes over for Ryan Dobias, who’s stepping aside from that role but will remain at the school as a teacher and as a member of the football coaching staff.
Earlier this month, Randleman completed a 33-1 baseball season by winning another championship. The Tigers were undefeated against competition from within North Carolina.
“He’s interested in administration and maintaining his baseball program,” Randleman principal Dennis Hamilton said of Smith. “We’ve been talking about it since December.”
Smith, who has been at Randleman since 2013, has handled many administrative-type duties, particularly on Friday nights at football games in the past.
Smith said he appreciates the positive impact that a strong athletics program can have on the school.
“If your athletics are good at school, it helps with everything around it and the morale of the whole school and helps create that school spirit,” Smith said.
Hamilton said Smith has been connected to teams at the school extending well beyond baseball.
“The good thing about Randleman is he has been involved with our athletic program,” Hamilton said.
Randleman’s powerhouse football team took a dip last year with a 4-7 record. Smith said he expects a bounce-back season when the new school year begins in a couple of months.
“I think we’ll have a better year of football,” he said.
Dobias, whose son, Thomas Dobias, is a member of the Randleman football team, said part of his reason for giving up the AD duties is so he’s free to follow his daughter’s college softball career during the busy spring semester. Bethany Dobias plays on the Western Carolina team.
“This will be a good fit,” Ryan Dobias said. “He has been doing many of the things associated with being the AD and has been a big help for me.”