Two athletic coaching positions are undergoing changes at Southwestern Community College.
After almost six years at the helm of the Southwestern Community College baseball program, Brian “Bull” Smith has announced he is stepping down to pursue other interests.
“I’ve reached a point where I’m at a crossroads,” Smith stated. “The time commitment in college coaching is enormous and the hours I’ve had to spend away from my family have been hard on all of us. There are a lot of things I still want to do in life. It’s time to go do them.”
Smith and his family — wife Christy and daughter Sasha — came to Creston in June 2008 from Joplin, Mo., where he worked in the admissions department and assisted with scouting and recruiting for Missouri Southern State University. Prior to that, he was the hitting coach at Crowder College in Neosho, Mo.
During his time at SWCC, Smith spent countless hours working to improve the baseball facilities. Smith remembers how the field looked when he came to the college and leaves feeling proud of the improvements made during his tenure.
“I can look at the facility and see how far it’s come during the time I’ve been here,” Smith explained. “We have new fencing, a batting cage, a new backstop … and I was able to do everything at cost because we didn’t have the funds to pay labor.”
Smith said he will also miss working with the players, his favorite part of coaching.
“Whether it was fall league, practicing, playing or fundraising for the team, my favorite times were spent with the players,” Smith said.
According to Bill Krejci, SWCC athletic director, the college will begin the search for a new head baseball coach immediately. In addition to his position as SWCC’s head baseball coach, Smith has been an admissions representative for the college.
Southwestern Community College has announced Larry Shimono of Creston as the head coach for the men’s and women’s golf teams. He will begin recruiting for the golf program immediately.
Shimono replaces Mike Holmes who made the decision to step down from coaching golf, but will remain at SWCC as head men’s basketball coach and physical education instructor.
Shimono comes to Southwestern with years of golf and golf coaching experience. He was the owner and manager of The Valley Golf Club in Mondovi, Wis., for seven years. Prior to this, he was an assistant golf professional at the club for more than three years. Shimono also worked at Nevada Bob’s Golf Store and coached high school golfers for many years.
Shimono said he has a passion for golf and loves to share his passion with others who have the desire to play and enjoy the game. His goal for the student-athletes he recruits to SWCC will be “to provide a quality golfing program, as well as a great education to assist them in meeting their future goals.”
He has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree, both in vocational rehabilitation, from the University of Wisconsin — Stout. He worked for more than 20 years in the printing and publishing industries in Wisconsin.
Bill Krejci, SWCC athletic director, is excited to add Shimono to the coaching staff.
“Larry brings years of golf experience, as well as a true passion for the game to our golf program,” Krejci said.
The Spartan golf teams practice at Crestmoor Golf Club in Creston