Johnson City

Science Hill coaching legend passes away at the age of 98

Science Hill coaching legend passes away at the age of 98

Johnson City, TN - He's been called the patriarch of Science Hill High School athletics.

"Sidney Smallwood, he's probably a legend," said Smallwood's friend and colleague Bob May.

Smallwood, a legendary teacher, coach, athletic director and superintendent, passed away early Tuesday morning at the age of 98.

"He did it about all in Johnson City and did it well," May said.

In 1960, Smallwood hired May, who was one of his former players.

"I'd just got out of the army," May remembered. "I'd been going by to see him and I was standing beside of him on the sideline over there watching them practice and he looked around at me and he said what are you doing here? I said, I'm watching practice. He said, you ought to be coaching that ninth grade up there. I said, does that mean I got a job and he said, yeah. I had 35 years all together in coaching and I contributed that to him."

A recruiter before its time, Smallwood was responsible for bringing Steve Spurrier and his family to Johnson City, landing Steve's father a job preaching at Calvary Presbyterian Church. At the school where the track now bears his name, Smallwood left a large imprint on his players.

"He had a way of telling young men how they should go and what they should do," May said.

And an imprint on Science Hill.

"He'll stand out at promoting the athletic program to a level that it hadn't been before," May said. "I think he is responsible for how it is going now because people have followed up on the way he did things. He'll be missed."

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