Smithfield ousts boys’ basketball coach

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 14, 2008

SMITHFIELD—Smithfield High School is in search of a new boys basketball coach after releasing Steve Artis, a two-year coach at the school.

Miles Blount, athletic director at Smithfield High School, said the decision to let Artis go was not made for coaching reasons, but because Artis is employed in another school district and was not easily accessible to student athletes at Smithfield.

Artis works at Menchville High School in Newport News, about 30 minutes from SHS.

&uot;It was a situation where we were not able to have good contact because of the distance between his job and our school,&uot; Blount said. &uot;It was just a problem with communication and the time and the distance. We felt like it was better if we had someone who would be in the school because it was one of our major programs. It works better for the coaches, athletes and the administration.&uot;

Artis was 13-28 in two years as coach of the Packers who play in the Bay Rivers District. Blount said he was satisfied with the job that Artis did on the floor.

&uot;He did a great job and he is a fine man. We didn’t have a problem with his coaching. We just couldn’t solve the problem with his distance,&uot; Blount said.

Blount played basketball at Christopher Newport University and at graduation in 1993 he owned the NCAA Division III career record for assists.

The job is being advertised through the Isle of Wight County Schools Central Office.