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Athletic Director Roman Smith announces departure from NorthWood

Mar. 6—NorthWood athletic director Roman Smith has announced his departure from the school, published late night Tuesday.

Characterized by improvements to the Panthers facilities, playing fields and athletic department, Smith's decision was met with "mixed emotions" and was a move he noted as "selfless" while speaking over the phone with The Goshen News and adding that "it was just a great opportunity that presented itself."

"All of our accomplishments are a testament to the dedication and perseverance of our student-athletes, who have demonstrated exceptional talent and sportsmanship both on and off the field," Smith said according to the post published by NorthWood late Tuesday night.

With the school for two-and-a-half years, Smith cited an undisclosed job in the private sector as an opportunity that presented itself with the process beginning last month to month-and-a-half. Availability to be the best father and husband he could be also were reasons given on the change.

Smith, 32, recently became a father of a 3-month old son.

Under his guidance, NorthWood has implemented the creation and improvements to the NorthWood Field of Dreams, Locker Room projects, Tennis Pavilion and Andrews Field (which are ongoing).

Before arriving as the athletic director in Nappanee, Smith took on the same position at Lakeland from 2017-20 before becoming an assistant athletic director at Warsaw from 2020-21.

Noting on NorthWood itself, Smith was quick to bring up that "NorthWood was unlike anything I've experienced with extreme passion by all involved."

He continued about the school's culture as "if you're not in it, you'll think you'll understand it, but you truly won't until you are."

Smith oversaw 13 sectional championships, six regional championships, two semi-state championships and one state championship during his tenure at NorthWood. The Panthers were first-time boys basketball state champions in the 2022-23 season while the latest state appearance came when the football program finished as 4A runner-ups this past season.

"As I embark on the next chapter of my journey, I carry with me the lessons learned and the memories cherished during my career in education-based athletics," Smith said. "NorthWood has shaped not only my professional career but also my personal growth, and for that, I am eternally grateful."

"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be your Director of Athletics," Smith added. "It was a position that I did not take lightly, and one that I cared about deeply. I wish NorthWood well moving forward, and I'm excited to continue supporting our Panthers!"

Reach Matt Lucas at 574-533-2151, ext. 240325, or at matt.lucas@goshennews.com.