After many successful years of leading the Southside Virginia Community College men’s basketball team, Dennis Smith recently announced that he is stepping down as head coach of the Panthers.
Smith departs as the all-time winningest coach in school history with a 284-144 record over 18 seasons. He led the Panthers to four USA National Prep Postgrad titles with the most recent coming in his final game at the helm on March 5, 2022 when SVCC topped Tennessee Prep 65-52 in the West National Collegiate Prep title game in Myrtle Beach, SC.
The other national championships for SVCC came in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
The SVCC Panthers also won Virginia Community College System state titles in 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014 under Smith and captured VCCS division titles and finished as the state runner-up in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
Smith’s best season in terms of victories came in 2007 when SVCC went 27-5, part of a great run when the local program won 20 or more games in four out of five seasons.
“While I am certainly proud of the tremendous success we have had over the past two decades, I could not have done it without my great assistant coaches - Vincent Brown, who has been with me for the past 14 years, and John Duty, who worked with me during my first four seasons,” Smith said. “I am most proud of the tremendous student-athletes who have played for SVCC over the years that I have watched grow into responsible and compassionate adults now giving back in their communities.”
SVCC won four of the six national title games it played in under Smith, finishing as runner-up in the USA National Postgrad division in 2020 and as runner-up in the 2010 ACIS National Championship at North Carolina State University. SVCC also captured the ACIS Mid-Atlantic Regional title in 2007 at the University of Virginia.
“The young people I have worked with over the years have meant so much to me and I am thankful for so many wonderful memories,” said Smith. “I am forever grateful to Dr. John Cavan for giving me the opportunity to coach at the collegiate level and to Dr. Al Roberts and Dr. Quentin Johnson for allowing me to continue in this role.”
Smith said that while he is stepping away from coaching, he still plans to be actively involved with the athletic programs at SVCC as well as continuing to serve in his primary position as Director of Workforce Development.