Smith, ex-coach at McDonogh, gets Dunbar post Nolan reportedly leaning toward signing with Virginia

November 15, 1993|By Derek Toney | Derek Toney,Contributing Writer

Former McDonogh coach Paul Smith has been chosen as Dunbar's interim basketball coach for the coming season, principal Charlotte Brown said.

Smith replaces Pete Pompey, who has been on administrative leave with pay since August while the state's attorney's office investigates alleged misuse of Dunbar athletic funds. Pompey led the Poets to a 29-0 record and the mythical national championship two years ago.

"I really think it's a good selection," Brown said last night. "He has excellent experience. He seems to have a good vision as far as basketball is concerned. His philosophy about students and [athletics] coincides with mine."

Smith, 52, was reached at his home last night, but would not comment.

Smith, who was believed to be a finalist for the Dunbar position along with Mervo athletic director Woody Williams, is expected to attend a 2 p.m. news conference today in Dunbar's gymnasium, where Norman Nolan, the Poets' 6-foot-8 All-Metro center, will announce his college choice. Sources say Nolan is leaning heavily toward Virginia, but Providence and Georgia Tech also are being considered.

Four applications were accepted for the Poets head coaching position and reviewed by a panel that included Dunbar alumni and representatives of the Poet Athletic Club, Poet Followers and a conference by Brown with senior members of the basketball team, which is ranked eighth nationally by Street & Smith.

But Brown -- who had hoped to make a decision by last Wednesday, the beginning of the NCAA early signing period for seniors -- made the final choice. Today is the first official day of practice for area public high school teams.

In 18 years, Smith has a career record of 260-158.

Most of his success was at McDonogh, where he coached from 1974 to 1990, winning six Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference titles. He was selected as The Sun's Coach of the Year for the 1985-86 season. He coached at Sidwell Friends, in Northwest Washington, from 1990 to 1992.

Smith is familiar with the basketball tradition of East Baltimore. He is in his second tour of duty as a teacher at Charles Carroll of Carrollton Elementary School in East Baltimore, where he taught former Dunbar stars Skip Wise, Kevin Bush and DeWayne Ward.

Smith, who will continue his Carroll teaching duties, is a graduate of Douglass High, where he played on the varsity basketball team with Pompey in the late 1950s. He graduated from Virginia Union in 1964, where he was a starting guard and captain in his junior and senior years.

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