Smith takes over Utica Ford II football for this season

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published August 8, 2018

 Utica Ford II football coach Tony Smith addresses the crowd at the July 24 Macomb Area Conference Media Day. Smith will serve as the Falcons’ interim coach this season.

Utica Ford II football coach Tony Smith addresses the crowd at the July 24 Macomb Area Conference Media Day. Smith will serve as the Falcons’ interim coach this season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Tony Smith will serve as interim coach of the Utica Ford II football team this season. 

Before talking football at the July 24 Macomb Area Conference Media Day, Smith made it clear who the team will be playing for this fall.

“(The Utica Ford family) suffered a big loss this summer,” Smith said. “I’m stepping in and carrying on the vision of former coach Todd Koehn.”

Smith takes over for Koehn, who died July 6. Koehn coached at Ford for two seasons, in 2016 and 2017.

Smith was a member of Koehn’s staff. Previously, Smith served as head coach of Utica High from 2006 to 2015. Smith’s Chieftains in 2010 won a division title and advanced to the state playoffs. The 265 points Utica scored in 2010 were the second-most in a season in program history.

During the media day, Smith thanked fellow coaches and members of the community for sending well wishes, thoughts and prayers to the Ford community.

Koehn had previous stops at New Haven High, Utica and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek. In 2012, while a social studies teacher at Utica, he was one of three Utica Community Schools teachers honored with a district teacher of the year award.

Ford Athletic Director Bill Szalaga established a GoFundMe page to assist with funeral expenses and for Koehn’s children. More than $23,000 had been raised in less than three weeks, at press time.

Smith takes over a team looking for its first playoff berth since 2015. The Falcons open the season against Stoney Creek at 7 p.m. Aug. 23 on the road.

“As we move on as a program, every day, our goal is to continue to move forward and find ways to get better,” Smith said. “We’re going to do it as a family, as a program, and we’re going to do it together.”

Call Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at (586) 498-1038. Follow Sports on Twitter @CandGSports.