Anthony Smith will be back in the classroom—and the court—at Homewood-Flossmoor High School this fall.
“We tried to make the decision that we felt was the best," the school's Director of Human Resources and Public Relations Jodi Bryant told Sun-Times Media. "We know it’s not going to be the best decision for everybody, but it’s what we feel is the best for our students right now.”
Bryant confirmed his return as coach on Wednesday, one day after the Board of Education decided Smith — who was fired in April as both a teacher and coach over a recruiting scandal — could come back as a health and driver's education teacher at a salary of $81,446.
The IHSA cleared Smith in late April to return to coaching after investigating allegations he recruited his top summer league players from Bolingbrook to attend Homewood-Flossmoor High School. H-F students filed a lawsuit against the school, which was dropped in March.
On Tuesday night, the district released a statement:
“Smith is a top-level coach, who is inspiring, motivating and devoted to his players, as well as his students in the classroom,” the statement reads. “After reviewing all information and considering the views of many different stakeholders, the board is confident that this (allowing him to again teach) is the right decision for Homewood-Flossmoor students, athletes and the greater community.
“Our focus now is on the implementation of a comprehensive plan to remedy areas of noncompliance and to ensure agreement with IHSA rules moving forward.”— via Sun-Times Media