Max Smith has resigned as Dunedin’s football coach to take a job as a graduate assistant at the University of Toledo.
Smith, 28, coached the Falcons for two seasons, going 10-10. Last season Dunedin went 6-4, its first winning season since 2008.
Smith said he took the job Wednesday and waited until Friday to tell the team. He leaves a month before practice begins for the fall.
“I know it’s bad timing, but I couldn’t wait any longer,” Smith said.
Smith was also offered the job last year but turned it down. The Rockets offered again in May at the beginning of spring practice, and Smith said he most likely would not have gotten another offer.
Smith has ties with Toledo’s coaching staff from his playing days at Mount Union. Rockets head coach Matt Campbell was Smith’s offensive coordinator at Mount Union. Toledo offensive coordinator Jason Candle was Smith’s receivers coach in college.
Smith becomes the fifth member of the Rockets coaching staff to have played or coached at Mount Union.
“I’ve kept in contact with a lot of those guys through the years and built up some good relationships,” he said. “I know it will be a grind, but I think that will help me move up pretty quickly.”
Smith’s focus will be the receivers. He will have the chance to work with former Lakewood standouts Bernard Reedy Jr. (1,000-yard receiver for Toledo last season and a preseason All-America selection as a kick returner) and Rodney Adams (2013 signee).
In his two seasons at Dunedin, Smith helped turn around the program. He bought new lockers, designed a new helmet and uniforms and allowed music to be played on a loudspeaker during practice. The Falcons showed progress, going 4-6 in 2011 and improving by two wins last season.
“It might not have showed in the overall record, but I’m leaving the program in a better state,” Smith said. “This was a tough decision, especially because of the kids. I love high school football, but unfortunately you don’t make enough money at it. And if you make it in Division I football, you really can start making some money.”