Smithson, SHS girls golf coach, steps down


Eight seasons, five Olympic League titles and three top-10 state finishes later, Garrett Smithson is taking some time off from his duties as Sequim High School’s girls golf coach.

Smithson, head golf professional at The Cedars at Dungeness golf course, said he plans to take more time for his family and career.

“It was a super hard decision for me to make since I love it so much,” he said. “But my kids are starting to get more active in sports and I want to be a part of it.”

Smithson took over coaching duties from Gary Francis in 2007 and in his first year led the girls to a 6-0-1 finish. The Wolves placed ninth at state with five girls qualifying for state; sisters Zoei and Alex Zbaraschuk placed 21st and 29th.

In 2008 and 2009, he coached the boys golf teams too and sent four golfers — two boys and girls — to state his first year and three boys and two girls the next year.

In all, Smithson has coached 11 girls to qualify 21 times for golf state championship tournaments.

His tentative plan is take a break for a few years, but he admits it’s a tough time to take a break.

Freshman/soon-to-be sophomore Alex McMenamin took third this spring at the 2A state championships and most of the pack around her were seniors.

“The girls have a legit chance to make a trophy next year at state as well as have an individual title with Alex McMenamin,” Smithson said.

This season, McMenamin, the league MVP, led Sequim to second place in the Olympic League (6-2 in league, 8-4 overall).

Prior to McMenamin’s finish, Zoei Zbarschuk was the highest state placer under Smithson’s coaching with a fifth place finish in 2010, when the SHS squad took its highest 2A state team ranking at sixth.

Dave Ditlefsen, high school athletic director, said they’ll begin the hiring process in the fall to replace Smithson.

“He did a great job,” Ditlefsen said. “We’ll miss him. He was always well liked and our girls program was always very successful. He helped some girls reach their potential in their golf games.”


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