New director of coaching looking to grow program

Ty Smith had enjoyed plenty of success the past six years while coaching in the Kings Hammer Soccer Academy in the Cincinnati area, but he was ready to run his own program.

So after Kenrick Ramirez left the Columbus Express Soccer Club for Indy Premier in February, Smith jumped at the chance to come home. The 30-year-old North Vernon native took over as the Express’ director of coaching.

“I grew up around here and always felt like there were good athletes in the area,” Smith said. “Partially, my soccer experience, I wish I had more guidance when I was younger and felt like this is a way I could impact peoples’ lives in a positive manner. At Kings Hammer, I had been doing stuff with teams and wanted to take over a club and kind of put my imprint on how I felt things should be done.”

The 2005 Jennings County graduate played soccer for three years at Thomas More and one at Hanover. He then spent a year as an assistant coach with the men’s team at Hanover for a year before going to Miami (Ohio) as director of soccer operations for a year.

Smith then was assistant women’s coach at Xavier for three years and Dayton for two years. In the meantime, he coached with Express in 2010-11 and with Kings Hammer from 2011-16.

At Kings Hammer, Smith coached three of the club’s nine top teams, including one that was in the U.S. National League. He won State Cup titles in Kentucky and Ohio, and one of his teams sent 16 of its 18 kids to Division I college programs.

Since arriving in Columbus, Smith has restructured the programs with the Express. He has reorganized the Academy at Columbus Express Soccer Club program and feels that it is a strength of the program. He credits Academy director Dylan Andrew and the Academy staff with doing a great job of implementing the club philosophies toward creating skillful players that have a solid skill foundation to build upon.

Throughout the entire club, Smith has introduced a yearly training curriculum that will focus on developing players through mindful training sessions that will enhance players’ technical, tactical, social and physical abilities. The Junior and Senior Teams will be participating in various training sessions, ranging from speed and power sessions to classroom sessions to futsal training.

“We feel that we are going to be able to provide a program that will really benefit our athletes,” Smith said. “The big thing is being able to provide them a high level of training where they’re getting influenced and taught how to play properly at a young age and making sure that they have proper foundation.”

Next week, the Express is holding tryouts for its 2017-18 season. The tryouts will be Monday through Thursday at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex for boys and girls born from 1999 to 2007.

The Academy also is accepting players born from 2008 to 2011.

“The first thing we have to do is expand the player pool, and I think we’ll be able to do that,” Smith said. “But it all starts with the youngest kids and making sure that they have that solid foundation for which we can build upon and teach them the tactical side of things because if they don’t have the technique, it’s going to be really hard to teach them the tactics. So we’re going to build some kids that are very technical and enjoy the game and then at higher levels, we can start building on the X’s and O’s of the game.”

Ty Smith

Name: Ty Smith

Age: 30

High school: Jennings County

Colleges: Thomas More, Hanover (B.A. in Elementary Education), Ball State (Master’s in physical education in coaching

Occupation: Director of coaching for Columbus Express Soccer Club

Of note: CESC will hold tryouts for its 2017-18 season Monday through Thursday at Richard Wigh Soccer Complex for boys and girls born from 1999 to 2007. The Academy at Columbus Express Soccer Club also is accepting players born from 2008 to 2011 for the upcoming season. For more info and to register, visit or contact Smith at or 812-767-3092.

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Ted Schultz is sports editor for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5628.