Photo provided // Guerin boys varsity basketball head coach Pete Smith used an empty baseball bucket as a seat on the sideline as a reference to how far the Guerin Catholic basketball program came since he helped start it in 2004. Smith, who coached at Noblesville and Carmel among others, announced his retirement Tuesday.
Photo provided // Guerin boys varsity basketball head coach Pete Smith used an empty baseball bucket as a seat on the sideline as a reference to how far the Guerin Catholic basketball program came since he helped start it in 2004. Smith, who coached at Noblesville and Carmel among others, announced his retirement Tuesday.
Guerin Catholic high school’s boys’ basketball program will be without its supreme leader next season.

Head coach Pete Smith announced Tuesday he is retiring. Smith started the boys’ basketball team at Guerin in 2004 and developed the Golden Eagles into a competitive program.

“I’ve learned that coaching, for me, was part of those 33 years and a reason also that I taught,” Smith said. “Coaching was the last part of my day as a teacher all those years, and I just haven’t had the same passion for coaching since I left the classroom. After the ’16-’17 season, I struggled with whether I wanted to coach anymore or not, but I decided to coach this past season and I was glad I did with the great bunch of seniors we had. Injuries threw a wrench into what we thought could be a nice run tournament-time, but that’s basketball.”

Before coaching at Guerin, Smith was the head coach at Noblesville and Carmel in the 1990s.

Guerin entered varsity basketball competition in the 2006–07 season, finishing the year with a 9–13 record. However, the Golden Eagles have since recorded 11 straight winning seasons.

University High School boys’ basketball head coach Brandon Lafferman was mentored by Smith in 2010 and was a student-teacher under Smith at Creekside Middle School.

“I think that athletes and families are definitely drawn to coach Smith and being in a program he’s a part of really regardless of what school he’s at or what team he’s coaching,” Lafferman said.

Smith led Guerin to a pair of 3A State Championships – in 2012 and 2015. Guerin finished this season with an overall record of 16–9.

Guerin made another strong run in the tournament this year, losing to Cardinal Ritter 62–54 in the semifinals of the IHSAA 3A Sectionals.

Lafferman said the game of basketball will miss Smith and all that he brings to the game.

“I was always really impressed at a young age with how he was able to form relationships with students and athletes,” Lafferman said. “I looked up to him on how he did that and tried to model some of the way that I developed into a teacher and a coach after what coach Smith does.”

Under Smith, the Golden Eagles held a record of 206–101. Smith recently accepted a board of directors’ position with a new bank coming to Hamilton County, according to a press release from Guerin Catholic.