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August 04, 2008 2:11 pm

Coach Smith inducted into WCA Hall of Fame

Written by Tribune Staff

Urbach, Hildebrand, Kenny Smith receive honors
Two coaches and two recently graduated student-athletes from Powell High School recently were honored during the Wyoming Coaches Association's awards banquet in Casper.
Leading the way for the Panthers was Scott Smith, who was inducted into the WCA Coaches Hall of Fame. Coach Smith currently serves as head coach of the PHS boys and girls track and field squads. He also serves as a volunteer assistant coach for Cody High School's boys and girls indoor track and field teams, which also include a number of athletes from Powell.
Coach Smith, who will begin his 27th year of coaching during the 2008-09 school year, has 20 years experience as a head coach and six as an assistant. Sixteen of those years have been spent in Powell. He has coached four state championship track and field teams and was an assistant coach for the Panther football team during its state title run in 2006. He also has eight regional titles to his credit and has won numerous coach of the year awards. Coach Smith is the third PHS track and field coach to earn a spot in the WCA Hall of Fame. The others are L.A. Kohnke (1984) and Jerry Lane (1993).
“It felt really good,” Coach Smith said of being inducted into the WCA Hall of Fame. “I've been pretty fortunate. I'm the third track and field coach from Powell to get into the Hall of Fame, so that gives you an idea of how much support the teams get here in Powell. The community has been so supportive of track and field, and it was that way before I got here. Having that kind of support is nice to have, and it means a lot.
“Track and field is basically 17 sports tied into one, and I've been fortunate enough to have some great assistant coaches. We've also had a lot of dedicated athletes. This honor is a reflection of those assistant coaches, the athletes and the support of the school and the community.”
Making his induction into the hall of fame even more special was the fact that his wife, Barbara, his daughters, Amy and Natalee, and son, Kenny, were present at the banquet. Coach Smith's dad, B.J., also was in attendance.
“It has been a good year for us,” said Coach Smith, whose son, Kenny, also earned a scholarship offer from the University of Wyoming's track and field squad during the 2007-08 school year.
Kenny Smith and Michael Hildebrand also were honored during the event. Both student-athletes were multi-sport standouts at PHS and both received $500 scholarships from the WCA.
During their senior seasons in 2007-08, both student-athletes played football and were members of the outdoor track and field teams. During the winter sports season, Kenny Smith was part of the combined Cody-Powell indoor track and field squad, and Hildebrand was a key player for the Panther basketball team. Like Kenny Smith, Hildebrand will continue his academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level. He earned a scholarship to Montana State University-Billings, where he will compete for the cross country team and the indoor and outdoor track and field squads.
Nate Urbach, head coach of the Panther wrestling team, received the WCA's Class 3A Coach of Year Award during the banquet. Urbach learned of his selection for that honor during April.
During the 2007-08 slate, the Panthers were strong out of the gate and finished by overwhelming their opponents down the stretch.
Urbach's squad won the Class 3A West Regional convincingly, finishing with 251 team points and eight first-place winners.
Mountain View, the West Region's runner-up, finished that event with 149 points.
At the state tournament, the Panthers posted a solid effort as well and finished with 255 team points and 35 points ahead of runner-up Douglas.