The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


April 6, 2013

Alva’s Smith is girls All-NW COY


Just about everyone saw the final result of the Enid News & Eagle’s All-Northwest girls basketball coach of the year coming.  
Burlington skipper Randy Turney, the winner of the boys coach of the year for the eighth time this season, watched Alva girls coach Eric Smith in his playing days at Burlington, barely missing a chance to coach the high-scoring high-schooler. 
Now, Smith is a colleague, both in the ranks of Oklahoma’s high school basketball coaches, and after votes by fellow coaches were tallied this week, is in the members-only club of men and women tabbed their region’s best coach. 
“He’s a great, great, guy, and as good a coach as there is,” said Turney, whose selection this year comes after his final season. 
Fairview girls coach Mike Barton, one of Smith’s greatest rivals and best friends in the field, also gave his blessing, passing the torch after winning the same award last season. 
“We’ve had a really good rivalry,” Barton said, who regaled with stories of the pair’s games, the two often giving defensive instructions to mirror each other’s offensive play calls, each knowing the other’s well enough to have written them. 
“You don’t know that play!” Barton once shouted to Smith after his play call triggered a seemingly tailored defensive adjustment. “It was put in yesterday!” 
Turns out, the only one surprised by the selection was the winner himself. 
“Of all the coaches, that’s the best you can come up with?” joked Smith, who coached the Lady Goldbugs to the 2A State Championship game, where they lost 53-36 to undefeated Northeast. “That’s pretty cool.” 
Even more so considering Smith, once a record-holding scorer for Burlington’s boys basketball team, is the first of any of them to win All-Northwest honors as both a player and a coach. 

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