190517 Brantley vs Belgreen 4

John Smith, who formerly coached at Hatton, Coffee, Florence, Russellville and Belgreen, will be the new coach at East Lawrence. [FILE]

East Lawrence has found its new softball coach and it's a familiar face in Lawrence County.

John Smith, who formerly coached at Hatton, has been chosen to lead the Eagles.

"We're very excited to have John as a part of our team here," East Lawrence Principal Ron Rikard said. "He's had a long and successful career and we believe he will bring that success here to East Lawrence."

Smith has enjoyed success at numerous stops throughout his long career, but most notably at Hatton where he led the Hornets to four straight state championships from 2009-12.

"It's not everyday that you can go out and get a coach that has won four state championships," Rikard said. "He brings a championship pedigree to our softball program."

In addition to Hatton, Smith has also coached softball at Coffee, as well as Russellville, Belgreen and Florence. In 2018, his lone season at Belgreen, he led the Bulldogs to an area championship and a trip to the Final Four.

East Lawrence is coming off a successful season in which its youth-filled team advanced to the regional tournament. With the majority of the roster coming back in 2022, the hope is Smith will help guide the Eagles even further.

"We had a lot of good young players that played above and beyond their age last year," Rikard said. "With most of them coming back we hope coach Smith will be able to get us to that next level."

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