Prep Focus • Tom Smythe takes his football smarts
by: SARAH TOOR, Tom Smythe, watching his Evergreen High team playing last fall, has recruited some of his former players to help give him – and his gridiron insight – an Internet presence.

You can, indeed, teach an old coach some new tricks.

Tom Smythe, 67, and one of the all-time winningest football coaches in Oregon prep history, says he is learning that firsthand.

With the help of some of his computer-savvy former players, Smythe is working to develop his own Web site -and with it a brave new world for his football knowledge.

'First of all, I don't have any secrets. I'm not one of those guys who closes his practice or isn't willing to talk about his ideas,' says Smythe, who also is getting ready for his second season as coach at Evergreen High in Vancouver, Wash.

'Secondly, people tell me that in this computer age, there's a tremendous opportunity to make whatever I do know about the game available to anyone in Oregon, or even all around the world. I even hear there's this 'e-book' thing that a lot of people are using.'

Via the Internet, Smythe is looking to get in the business of consulting other coaches, working privately with quarterbacks and selling his books.

'Maybe there's somebody in Fossil, Oregon, who would be very interested in having me come look at his entire program, or work with his quarterbacks,' he says.

The Web site, still in the works, will offer at least 16 e-books Smythe has written or is writing -including 'The Flex Slot Offense,' a four-part series that will include the 200-page playbook he has used during the past 10 seasons while winning European championships as coach of the Vienna (Austria) Vikings and Oregon state titles at McNary High in 1997 and 2001.

Other e-books will deal with varied topics ranging from 'the social challenges of the 21st century,' to travel to essays on how men see the world to a fictional trilogy about football and its effects on society.

In the next few weeks, Smythe and some of his coaching friends will get together at Lincoln High to produce a coaching DVD with a series of 'clinics' on various football topics, to be called 'The Playbook.'

Also involved, he hopes, will be Lake Oswego High coach Steve Coury, Lincoln coach Chad Carlson, Clackamas coach Joe Bushman, La Salle coach Mike Fanger and former Westview coach Jon Evans -all of whom played for Smythe. Each will focus on a specific aspect of the game, such as the screen pass.

Last summer, Smythe coached a pro team in Finland, and he says he might like to return to Europe eventually to live, perhaps in Croatia.

First, though, he intends to continue at Evergreen, which has a standout wide receiver/baseball center fielder in Kyrell Hudson. 'He's an NFL player,' Smythe says, 'but he could be drafted high in baseball out of high school.'

He says he'll coach at Evergreen 'as long as my health is good, I'm having fun and the kids are getting something out of it.'

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