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Four-time championship coach resigns

Dexter’s girl’s softball team celebrates their fourth consecutive championship in May. (

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In her understated way, Dexter’s winningest softball coach Kim Smith attended a ceremony where she handed out championship rings, hugged her team and said goodbye to them. Little did they know they were saying goodbye to the coach that led them to four consecutive state titles with the final one being a 5-0, 5-4 sweep over rival Loving in May.

For seniors Cassandra Madrid, Dominique Silvas, Allyssa Madden, Marlou Blankvoort and Bryana Munoz, did they know they would be the last group of seniors Smith would coach at Dexter? All of them will have in common for the rest of their lives that they went out as state champions.

Some of them are four-time state champs. The only other team able to rival Dexter’s consecutive titles is Silver City with nine titles in a row. Approximately 10 days ago, Smith handed in her resignation to athletic director Dave Campbell who accepted. Reached by phone, Smith confirmed that she did resign.

“You know, I’m not going to say anything,” Smith said. “Yes sir, it is official.”

Smith stated that she was going to Artesia to teach.

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When contacted by RDR sports, Dexter athletic director Dave Campbell concurred that Smith did resign and felt that with Smith living close to Artesia, it played a role in her retiring. Campbell felt that Smith’s daughter was going to be in eighth grade and wanted to spend more time with her. Smith will coach the girls eighth-grade B team and she would not coach softball.

Dexter has posted the job on their website and is interviewing candidates, along with the head track position.

Of all of the championships Smith has won in the last four years, this has to have been one of the most grueling ones trying to repeat four championships.

After winning this season, Smith felt like with the team, she would have to take it one day at a time. Last season they had lost some key players from the year before.

“I knew we’d be decent,” Smith said after her team’s victory over Loving. “I didn’t think we’d be that good. We lost three key players from last year. From day one we set the tone for the culture with our goals. Our players bought into the program — that’s a big thing.”

This season Smith started three freshmen and an eighth-grader.

“This is the loosest group I have ever coached,” Smith said. “They would sing and do karaoke and not let the pressure get to them. I’m all-in or nothing.”

Smith has touched a lot of young girls’ lives in which they have become coaches and modeled their lives after her. Smith’s former basketball player Stephanie Silvas attributes her life and to where she is as a coach now to Smith. When Silvas was at Tabor College and wanted to quit, she talked to Smith who told her to stick to it and finish it out and to keep working hard.

Silvas also knows she might not be a coach if Smith had not taken the time to push her to excel on the court and in the classroom. She helped Silvas get a national scouting report.

“She (Smith) did a lot for me,” Silvas said. “Kim (Smith) pretty much helped me get out of Dexter and pursue basketball because that’s what I wanted to do. Coach Smith is a great coach and very dedicated, and she will bring out the best in you. She’s very focused, demanding and she will push you. She encouraged me and was determined to make me the best I could be.

Silvas recalled when Smith took her to Tabor on a weekend visit during the summer so she could tour the campus and scrimmage against other players.

“One of the main things I learned from coach Smith was a lot of life lessons,” Silvas said. “The main thing she (Smith) did for me, she helped me get out of Roswell and helped me get a scholarship to go play basketball. I appreciate everything coach Smith has done for me. Coach Smith has been a great influence on my life and always will be. If it wasn’t for her helping me out, I don’t know if I would be in this position right now.”

As Smith leaves Dexter, she leaves with a (129-19, 40-8 in district) record at Dexter with four consecutive championships from 2014-18.

Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or sports@rdrnews.com.

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