From football coach to deejay

By: 
Gary Zupancic, Staff Reporter

Smiling Coach Dick Smith is behind the mic on his radio show ‘Over Easy’.

Former Wimberley High School Coach Dick Smith has found his vocal calling as the mid-morning host of ‘Over Easy with Coach’ on KWVH 94.1 Wimberley Valley Radio. As you might expect from a host used to calling out orders and “coachin’em up,” the listener will never hear a lack of conversation or down time on air. Smith has an infection enthusiasm, and it affects those around him. 

This big guy, both tall and hefty, is really a big teddy bear, though, and he is well loved in the community and at the high school, from which he retired after coaching football, basketball, and tennis. He deems it a great honor to be called coach.

“I was third in my graduating class but not in the top ten percent,” Smith said. He grew up in the tiny town of Santa Anna, located about 175 miles northwest of Wimberley. The town’s population was about a thousand, as it is today. 

“You name it, and I was in it,” he said about his high school participation. From UIL One Act to raising animals for Ag to playing sports, he kept busy and on the right track. He had to. His dad was not only a math teacher and tennis coach there, but also the principal and “an outstanding teacher.”

In college he “changed majors four or five times” and decided on Communications. The Communications degree was within easy reach, but he decided he wanted to teach math like his dad. He was a newlywed, marrying local girl Karen. They’ve been married 34 years. 

Smith’s parents helped out as Smith had to take more classes, 160 hours to be exact. He transferred from UT to San Angelo State and graduated with a degree in Phys. Ed and a math minor.

In 1985 it was time to get his career started. First it was junior high in Rotan. That is where he met Weldon Nelms, who had become a coach at Rotan a year later. Nelms eventually became head coach in Wimberley and Smith would soon follow.

Smith then traveled to Iowa Park, near Abilene,  and to Glenn Rose, turning bad programs to good wherever he went.  He got a call from Weldon Nelms who, at this point, was in his second tour in Wimberley.

“I got a job offer here if you want it,” Nelms said according to Smith. Going back to Wimberley was the offer. “It was a tough decision to move but the best decision I ever made.”

Code Red, the WHS football team’s defensive mantra, came from Smith. It was an attitude that Smith would use during that regular season that the defensive crew grew to like.

“It started with Brady in district play. In the pre-game speech I said ‘I believe in Code Red,’ and lifted up my shirt and Code Red was written on my belly. The kids went nuts, they went crazy.” The Brady team’s quarterback, one of the best in the state, went 1 for 7 with 3 interceptions while limiting their running game to 40 yards.

The Wimberley Texans won two State titles, in 2005 and 2011 while Smith coached football. Altogether he spent 26 years with Nelms. He also coached tennis, 28 out of 31 years, named 2A Coach of the Year, and was ranked 4th in the state multiple times.

Retirement came and Smith finally decided to use that communications training he almost got a degree in. He pursues his music and deejay duties just as passionate and enthusiastically as he did as a coach. He gives a lot of credit to his mom. 

“She would ask what albums do you want and then buy them (for us). She always encouraged us to listen to music,” Smith said. He would go to bed and listen to Oklahoma City and Juarez, Mexico top 40 radio stations. “I loved Casey Kasum,” a national top 10 countdown.

Then, after high school graduation, he was off to Austin and UT, hanging out at the Armadillo World Headquarters and saw young Stevie Ray Vaughn, George Thurogood, the Fabulous T-Birds and others.

“I never made an ‘A’ except for the History of Rock and Roll. It was like “Name That Tune,” an old TV game show,” while a student at UT. “I really love live bands.” Wherever he taught, he would listen to local bands and even was a disc jockey in the summer of 1993 in Coleman, Texas. 

He joined the local band, the Texas Renegades in 2008 as a roadie one summer while on vacation and got to see how musicians travel. He was even the band’s announcer. He was approached by 94.1 KWVH and now has the live show, ‘Over Easy with Coach’. 

He saw over 60 bands this year at SWSX and still loves to listen to bands at Gruene Hall and around the area.

“I’ve always been a big music fan,” which helps as a deejay. He also books his guests, which often play live on air, and understands a run sheet (just like football run sheets, he said) and keeps Jessica Strahan, his producer, happy.

“I can’t be more excited than what I’m doing now,” said Smith, pursuing his new passion as enthusiastically as always. You can hear his show Monday through Friday at 8 to 10 a.m. on KWVH 94.1.

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