Named by American Football Monthly magazine as the 2014 Rawlings Football National Junior College Coach of the Year, as well as the 2014 and 2013 SWJCFC Coach of the Year, Brad Smiley has just finished his eighth season at the helm of Trinity Valley Football. He has built the program from only 2 wins in his first season to back-to-back double digit win seasons, back-to-back SWJCFC Conference and SWJCFC Regional Championships, back-to-back NJCAA Bowl Championships and currently holds a 21-game unbeaten streak. Smiley is the only current head coach in the conference to have won both a regular season and regional championship, as well as in the same season. Smiley is the first SWJCFC coach to accomplish that feat in back-to-back seasons in 20 years (Willie Fritz,1995-96). The Cardinals have been the most dominant team in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference recently qualifying for the playoffs 4 of the previous 5 seasons and making the SWJCFC Regional Championship game 3 of those 4 seasons, of course winning it all twice. They have also had 7 different players recognized as the conference's overall, offensive or defensive players of the year since 2009. The Cardinals are also one of the nation's leaders in placing players at the next level with both 4-year universities and Division 1 Football FBS and FCS programs, leading the nation in 3 of the past 4 seasons including 21 in 2015.
The Cardinals run in 2014 was a historic one, becoming only the third team in school history to finish with a perfect 12-0 record and the fourth to finish the regular season undefeated. The SWJCFC Championship was the 20th in school history, and the trip to the 2014 C.HA.M.P.S Heart of Texas Bowl was the 20th in school history as well (TVCC leads the SWJCFC all-time in both categories). The offense put up unprecedented numbers in 2014, breaking the NJCAA All-Time record in total offense (7,778 yards), yards per game (648.1) and placekicker Leo Peralta broke the NJCAA All-Time record for PAT's (95). The Cardinal offense led the nation in al of those categories, as well as points scored (704), points per game (58.7), touchdowns (96), passing touchdowns (52), passing yards (4,343), rushing yards (3,434) and yards per carry (7.6). The offense also finished 2nd nationally in passing yards per game (368.6), rushing yards per game (289.5) and were 3rd nationally in rushing touchdowns (43). 10 of the Cardinals 12 games in 2014 rank among the top 35 highest scoring games in school history, going for more than 50 points ten times, 60 points five times and 70 points three times. The Cardinal defense also had a great year, finishing first in the conference in total defense, passing defense, points per game and yards per game. Also, Cardinal sophomore linebacker, Cortney Finney, was named both the 2014 NJCAA and SWJCFC Defensive Player of the Year. In 3 of the past 4 seasons a Cardinal has won the conference's defensive top honor. In special teams, the Cards led the nation in kicking points scored (128) and PAT's (95), both breaking SWJCFC Conference records set by the Cardinals kickers in 2013. The 2014 Cardinals once again led the conference with 11 first or second team All-SWJCFC selections, and had 2 NJCAA 1st Team Al-Americans, OL Reggie Harris and LB Cortney Finney.
Smiley and the Cards had an exciting year in 2013 as well winning both the 2013 SWJCFC Championship* and the 2013 SWJCFC Regional Championship* (10 wins in 2013 were vacated due to the self-reported of playing an ineligible player), which culminated with an appearance in the 2013 C.H.A.M.P.S Heart of Texas Bowl, where they scored the second most points in NJCAA bowl game history with with a 72-23 rout over #12 Mesa CC, and finished as the #5 ranked team in the nation. The season was not short on individual accolades as QB Ryan Polite (who broke SWJCFC single-season passing records for touchdowns, completions and attempts) being named the 2013 SWJCFC MVP, and DT Jhaustin Thomas being named the 2013 SWJCFC Defensive Player of the Year. This was the fourth time in five seasons a Cardinal offensive player had taken home SWJCFC Offensive Player of the Year or SWJCFC MVP honors. The 2013 season also included 4 players being named to the NJCAA All-American Team (DL Jhaustin Thomas - 1st Team, LB Josh Pickett - 1st Team, DB D'Nerius Antoine - 1st Team and QB Ryan Polite HM). In his eighth year as Head Football Coach and third year as Athletic Director, Brad Smiley is once again excited to be in the position to help so many young men reach their goals and dreams. In his previous six seasons at "The Valley", he has had more than 140 players move on to play at 4-year universities, and more than half of those have been with Division 1 FBS and FCS programs. In the past two years Trinity Valley has been the nation's best at getting guys to the "D1" level.
During his tenure as head football coach, Smiley boasts 15 NJCAA All-Americans, 7 SWJCFC MVP's, 26 SWJCFC Players of the Week, 10 NJCAA National Players of the Week, 1 NJCAA National Player of the Year and 66 1st or 2nd Team All-Conference selections. As a team the Cardinals have played in the 2014, 2013 and 2010 SWJCFC Regional Championship games (winning in both 2013 & 2014), the 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 Regional Semi-Finals and bowl games in three of the last four years (2014 an 2013 C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl, 2011 Citizen's Bank Bowl). Statistically, they have been among the conference and nations leaders in offense, defense and special teams. As head coach of the Cardinals, Smiley has been a part of 26 of the top 40 scoring games in school history.
Along with his head coaching duties, Coach Smiley also coordinates the Cardinal Special Teams and has seen his units excel at both the conference and national levels. In 2013, freshman placekicker Dylan McLain smashed SWJCFC single-season records for both points scored and PAT's converted, finishing 4th and 2nd nationally in both categories. All of those records were topped in 2014 by Leo Peralta, including the NJCAA All-Time record with 95 PAT's. The Cardinal return units also had big years in 2013, leading the conference, and finishing among the nation's elite in several categories; 1st - punt return touchdowns (4), 2nd - punt return average (21.5), 3rd - punt return yards (430), and 15th - kickoff return average (22.5). During his tenure as special teams coordinator, Smiley has had 7 specialists named to the All SWJCFC teams, including former NJCAA All American Jaimie Salazar. Smiley served as the offensive line and tight ends coach, as well as recruiting coordinator in the 1998 and 1999 seasons under former head coach and Trinity Valley Hall of Fame inductee Scotty Conley. He was a part of the 1999 SWJCFC Championship and 1999 Red River Bowl Championship teams. His line helped pave the way for the conferences leading rushing attack both seasons as well as ranking top 5 nationally.
Smiley came to Trinity Valley after spending 7 seasons coaching at Division I - FBS Tulane University. During his time in New Orleans he was the recruiting coordinator and coached the Green Wave tight ends. During his tenure at Tulane he was a part of an offensive staff that helped produce the university's all-time leading passer, leading scorer and leading rusher as well as several all-time leading receivers. Also, offensively laying claim to 3 of Tulane’s top 5 seasons in total yardage and passing yardage. While at Tulane he was a part of the team’s 2002 Hawaii Bowl Championship, 2005 Disney’s Wide World of Sports Spirit Award and 2005 Football Writers of America Association Courage Award.
Smiley began his coaching career at his alma mater, Baylor University, as a student assistant in 1995. While with the Bears he worked with the quarterbacks and kicking specialists. He then moved to Division I - FCS Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana where he spent the 1996 and 1997 seasons coaching the team’s tight ends. He was a part of the 1997 Southland Football Conference Championship team helping NSU advance to the 1997 NCAA Division I-FCS Championship Playoffs.
Smiley is married to the former Janna Clary of Natchitoches, Louisiana and the couple have two children, Benjamin Andrew, 12 and Clary Ann, 10. Coach Smiley, who holds a BBA in Marketing from Baylor University (95') and a Masters of Education from Northwestern State (97'), is also the Director of Athletics at Trinity Valley. In his 3 years as AD, Trinity Valley has seen unprecedented success. In 2014 and 2013, all 5 sports reached the regional playoffs, 5 conference regular season championships have been won (football (2), women's basketball (2) and men's basketball (1), 4 regional championships (football (2) and women's basketball(2), 2 won the NJCAA National Championship (women's basketball) and 5 competed in NJCAA post-season tournaments, bowls or national championship competitions (football, women's basketball, men's basketball, softball and cheer).