The former Fighting Irish standout and Mr. Basketball finalist will succeed Michael Hutchens at the helm
Knoxville Catholic High School announced Nov. 4 that former player Luke Smith will be the next head basketball coach of the Fighting Irish following the retirement of Coach Michael Hutchens at the conclusion of the 2021-22 basketball season.
Mr. Smith is a 2017 graduate of Knoxville Catholic and played under Coach Hutchens from 2014-17, when he was a TSSAA 2017 Mr. Basketball Finalist, a member of the 2017 All-State Team, and the captain of the Fighting Irish 2017 state runner-up team.
Mr. Smith signed with Sewanee: The University of the South, where he led the Tigers to become the 2019 Southern Athletic Association (SAA) Tournament champions and advanced the team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1998. He was also the 2019 SAA Tournament MVP.
His success at Sewanee led Mr. Smith to Belmont University, where he was named to the 2021 Ohio Valley Conference All-Newcomer Team, was an Academic All-American, and was honored as the 2021 DC Paradise Jam MVP.
In his upcoming 2021-22 final season at Belmont, Mr. Smith has been named team captain of the Bruins. He also serves as a member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Player Development Coalition, a diverse collection of Division I men’s basketball student-athletes that provides valuable perspective and feedback on college basketball issues.
“We are thrilled to welcome Luke Smith as the next head coach of men’s basketball at Knoxville Catholic,” said KCHS
president Dickie Sompayrac. “Luke is not just committed to Catholic’s passion for excellence in athletics and academics, he has lived it.
“He has been a student-athlete, a team captain, and champion. Luke is prepared and committed to drive the continued tradition of our basketball program.”
Mr. Smith will take over the reins of the Fighting Irish men’s basketball program following Mr. Hutchens’ retirement from the game.
“I feel extremely honored and fortunate to follow in the footsteps of Coach Hutchens and the incredible foundation that’s been laid,” Mr. Smith said. “I appreciate all the confidence Knoxville Catholic has in me, and I will be ready to get to work when the time comes.”
“I couldn’t be more excited to work with the players, students, and community at Knoxville Catholic,” Mr. Smith added.