Longtime coaching veteran is in his second season with New York...Knicks stint is latest chapter in coaching career that spans more than four decades.
Enjoyed long career at Indiana’s Broad Ripple HS, serving as assistant basketball coach from 1969-72 and then as head coach from 1972-86 (during which he coached current Knicks Head Coach Mike Woodson) and again from 1995-2004...Coached a total of five high school All-Americans, including Woodson in 1976 and George Hill in 2004...Led Broad Ripple to Indiana state high school championship in 1980, becoming the first African-American basketball coach to win a state championship in an integrated school in the state’s history...Named Marion County Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1986...Served as consultant to John Calipari at the University of Memphis and to Woodson during Mike’s coaching tenure in Atlanta...Quoting Woodson: “It’s a great relationship, like a father-son or a brother-brother relationship. I’ve known him a long time. I asked him to come to Atlanta when I first got the head job to learn the NBA game, and he’s done that. He knows the game, and the comfort level of him being around me as a confidant and friend, being able to tell me things that sometimes I might not want to hear, it’s been all positive.”
Native of Danville, GA...Earned bachelor of arts degree (physical education and history) from Anderson (IN) College in 1965, and master of science degree (licensed physical education instructor) from Indiana State in 1970...Taught history and social studies in addition to high school coaching duties...Elected to post as Trustee of Center Township in Marion County (IN), serving four-year term from 1986-90...Created alternative middle school for Indianapolis Public School System and was principal for four years…Bill and his wife Lil Van Pelt-Smith have been married for 25 years...Has two children (son William and daughter Sherida Lynn) and three grandchildren...Bill and Lil make their off-season home in Cordova, TN.