Chattanooga's Andy Smith hired by Team USA Boxing
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Andy Smith watched his father, Joe, don the Red, White and Blue on the Olympic stage in Beijing in 2008.
This time around, the younger Smith will get to play a role himself.
Andy Smith confirmed on Monday that he will be one of two assistant coaches for the U.S. National Boxing Team as it prepares for the London Games this summer.
Smith will join the team later this week for training camp in Los Angeles ahead of the Americas competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in May.
Joe Smith served as U.S. Boxing's team manager for the 2008 games, and he is currently working with the U.S. Women's Boxing Team at the Continental championships in Canada in the same capacity.
Through his father's connection, Andy helped train the U.S. Olympic team at the family's West Side Boxing Gym downtown for an exhibition event in Chattanooga leading up to the 2008 summer games.
New Team USA head coach Basheer Abdullah was the technical advisor that year, so he got a chance to see Andy work up close.
"Back in 2008 I did some preparation camps before Beijing, and Coach Abdullah told me then that if he ever was the U.S. coach again, he would like me to get involved," Andy Smith told our media partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. "I guess he liked how I worked with kids."
Abdullah was previously Team USA's head coach for the 2004 games in Athens, Greece, and recently retired as the head of the Army's World Class Athlete Program for boxing. He replaces former U.S. head coach Joe Zanders, who faced heavy criticism after the team's poor showing in 2008 and finally removed from his post last month.