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Smythe retirement party set for Jan. 25


A huge contingent of former players, parents, coaches and even rival coaches will be gathering Jan. 25 to celebrate legendary coach Tom Smythe following his retirement this season.

Smythe, who coached for 52 years, stepped down after a second stint with Lakeridge this fall, leaving behind a legacy in Oregon that is virtually unmatched.

“He was a guy who dedicated his life to coaching high school kids and turning them into men," said former player John Pigott. "He's affected a lot of people and put them on the path to success.”

Following Smythe's announcement, Pigott took charge of the enormous task of contacting individuals from all of Smythe's teams, drumming up support.

Pigott was the first all-state quarterback at Lakeridge and played for Smythe for three seasons. He graduated in 1974 and went on to play at Stanford.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the response to the announcement was overwhelming. Pigott expects upwards of 300 individuals to be in attendance at the Smythe celebration next week, which takes place from 4 to roughly 7 p.m. at the KeyBank Club at Jeld-Wen Field, 1844 SW Morrison, Portland.

Expected to be in attendance will be members from every one of Smythe's teams, which included a one-year stint at Lake Oswego High School, McNary, Lewis & Clark College and Evergreen, Wash.

“There wasn't a lot of time to organize it but things have really been picking up,” Pigott said.

While it has been a large undertaking for Pigott, he has enjoyed reconnecting with players and seeing the amount of support that has come in for Smythe.

“It's been fantastic hearing from people that I might not have spoken to in 40 years. We all feel strongly about sending (Smythe) off on the right note,” Pigott said.

Tickets to the event are $40 and can be purchased online at forthecoachtomsmythe.com. On the day of the event, tickets will be $60 at the door.