The Christian Brothers Academy Athletics Department has announced the hiring of Courter Smith as the new head coach of the storied CBA varsity tennis program.
"We are tremendously proud and blessed to have a man with the background and success as Courter Smith lead our tennis program into the future," Director of Athletics Vito Chiaravalloti said. "Coach Smith is one of the finest coaches the state has ever seen, proven by his induction into the NJSIAA Coaches Hall of Fame. Most importantly, however, is his character and his ability to develop young men both on and off the courts."
Smith has taught world and 20th century history at CBA since 2014, serving as the Colts' freshman basketball coach since his arrival. The CBA freshman basketball team has seen great success under Smith's watch, with a combined record of 41-3 over the past two seasons.
"The players, alumni, parents, and administration have high expectations for every CBA program," Smith said. "I know that we won't be outworked, and that we'll be well-supported. There are only handful of programs in the state with double-digit state titles, and those programs have very little turnover in leadership. I am honored to be trusted with the reins of Colts Tennis."
Smith was a tennis mainstay at Bernards High School in Bernardsville, New Jersey. He served as the girls varsity coach (2002-2007) and the boys varsity coach (2003-2014) to much success. His combined record at Bernards was a resounding 399-71 with 12 conference titles and the 2003 state coach of the year award, which earned him a spot in the NJSIAA Coaches Hall of Fame. Smith also was the director of the Somerset County Tournament for ten year while at Bernards.
Smith was also a history and economics teacher at Bernards, serving as the social studies department coordinator from 2002-2010. He was promoted to supervisor of curriculum and instruction at Bernards in 2010.
Since 2015, Smith had been the assistant varsity tennis coach at Holmdel High School, where he managed the JV team as well. The Holmdel varsity team won their division, county, conference and state championships in both 2015 and 2016, while the Holmdel JV squad went 16-0 in the Shore Conference.
Smith takes over a CBA tennis team that finished runners-up in the Shore Conference Championship and advanced to the final four of the NJSIAA Non-Public A State Tournament in 2016. Dan Keane, the 38-year head coach of the Colts, retired after the 2016 season. He was responsible for delivering 14 state championships as tennis head coach with a career record of 649-155.
"Following Coach Keane will not be easy," Smith said. "Coach and his tennis alumni set the highest standard in the state. I embrace the challenge of helping the boys pursue additional state championships, but am most looking forward to helping the players develop their games and improve each day."
While following a legendary, long-time coach is never easy, Smith is ready- and excited- for the challenge.
"I want to make sure that the program is always in a re-load, not re-build, mode," he said. "The overarching goal is for CBA tennis to regain its place among the state's elite. If we work hard, efficiently and together, if we can develop players, and if we can compete with the top teams, then CBA tennis will be mentioned among the state's best."