Big Spring fills vacant coaching positions

When Big Spring Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Phillip Ritchey began his search for a new baseball coach and basketball coach at the varsity level, he didn't anticipate both of them being plucked from 2A Skidmore-Tynan, located near Corpus Christi.Bobby Smith, a successful baseball manager Ritchey has worked with in the past, and Adam Woolam, who brings 14 years of head basketball coaching experience with him, have been tapped to fill the vacancies left by former coaches Bert Otto and Cliff Thompson.The fact that both of them spent their last season at Skidmore was simply happenstance.“It was purely coincidental,” Ritchey said. “I had worked with Bobby in the past. I know him professionally and personally. He's a good guy and a good coach. He was at Skidmore last year and Mason before that. He won back-to-back district championships there.”Smith was offered a head football coach position at Grape Creek before choosing Big Spring and Ritchey plans to utilize his football coaching talents in the fall.“He will probably be a defensive assistant,” Ritchey said. “He'll bring a lot to the table there, too. But we hired him for baseball.”Maintaining the successful program Otto helped build is Smith's priority as he prepares to lead the Steers on the diamond.“I'm excited to be in Big Spring,” Smith said. “I have worked with Coach Ritchey before and Coach Otto has really done a fantastic job getting the Steers where they are. I hope to continue where he left off, build on that success and go from there.”As for Woolam, Ritchey is pleased to bring someone aboard who has nearly a decade and a half of courtside experience.“We had about 15 applicants and he applied,” Ritchey said. “He was by far the most experienced head coach who applied. He will be bringing a lot of experience with him to Big Spring.He has two sons, including a 6'4'' freshman, so we will be bringing more kids into our school system.”Woolam, who has coached at a handful of schools prior to Skidmore including Post, plans to move to Big Spring over the summer and is eager to further the success of the Steer basketball program.“My family and I are excited to be moving up to Big Spring,” Woolam said. “I'm excited about the opportunity.”Woolam runs a quick offense. Fans can expect to see his squad wear opponents down with a rapid pace of play.“I like to get up and down the court,” Woolam said. “We will play an uptempo game and put pressure on the defense.”A few assistant and junior high coaching slots still need to be filled over the summer break, but the acquisition of Smith and Woolam filled the largest gaps in the BSHS athletic departments.“We feel lucky that we got both of these guys,” Ritchey added. “We feel fortunate. We expect big things from them as head coaches and we welcome them to Big Spring.”