Veteran Coach Succumbs To Cancer


        RUSTON, LA—Long-time high school basketball coach Butch Smart, who spent many years coaching in North Carolina, died recently here after a lengthy battle with cancer.  He was 69 years old.

        A memorial service will be held for Smart at Highlands High School, where he coached from 1996 until the end of the 2011-12 season, on June 21 at 6 p.m. in the Highlands school gymnasium, with the doors opening at five o’clock.

        A native of Ruston, he graduated from Louisiana Tech and started a 44-year coaching career in Bastrop, La.  He earned over 700 basketball victories during his tenure in both Louisiana and in North Carolina.  He had averaged 20 wins a year for 10 years at East Ascension High School in Ruston and coached at several other high schools in that state.