Josh Smalley, left, speaks with Johnny Dorman, former school board trustee, at the Monday night meeting of the Orangefield Board of Trustees. Smalley was named as the new head football coach and athletic director of Orangefield High School at the meeting. RECORD PHOTO: David Ball

Coach Josh Smalley will be trading in his Cardinal red for the orange of the Bobcats.

Smalley, offensive coordinator for the Bridge City Cardinals will take over as head football coach and athletic director of Orangefield High School. He was named to the position Monday night at the meeting of the Orangefield board of trustees. He replaces Brian Huckabay who resigned in late May.

Smalley said working in Orangefield offer him and his family an opportunity to coach without moving eight hours away from the area.

“I worked here before from 2006-2008 as offensive coordinator. I know a lot of people here,” Smalley said. “It’s a great place to be. The kids work hard, the community has a passionate fan base, the administration is good and the teaching is good.”

Also in attendance with Smalley was his wife, Kim, and three stepsons.

Working in Bridge City, Smalley said he’s familiar with the Orangefield program and its athletes. Though the Cardinals run the spread offense, he doesn’t plan to make any changes to the Slot-T offense the Bobcats run.

No matter what offensive or defensive scheme the Bobcats adopt, Smalley said the most important thing about coaching are the kids.

“They need to know I formed a bound with them and that I love them as a coach,” he said.

Smalley said if he was asked six years ago he would become a head football coach and athletic director, he wouldn’t had believed it.

“ADs move around a lot. I want to be here a while and rebuild the program,” Smalley said.

In addition to football, Smalley has also coached track, power lifting, basketball, baseball and softball.

One of the first things he wants to do as coach is to meet his players and welcome them and also ask them to call their friends to attend. The program was running three teams when Smalley first worked for the district instead of currently running two teams.

“I want to get participation up. I want them prepared as much as possible physically and mentally as possible in the off season so they’ll be ready in a game,” he said. “I want to create a family type atmosphere and create excitement and fun. I want to stay with what we have here. We have a good system for the kids.

Smalley said his wife is just as excited for him as he is.

“She has made sacrifices for me. She’s excited more than anything,” he said.

Huckabay stated in a prior article he submitted a letter of resignation to the school board due to surgery on his knee.

“It’s in our best interest,” he said. “I had knee replacement surgery and I need to recover from that. I didn’t want to still be recovering in late June and put the kids in a bad situation (with the start of football season) and have a distraction.”

He had his contract extended at a board meeting on March 27.

Shaun McAlpin, principal of Orangefield High School was also promoted to assistant superintendent of business and finance at the meeting.

In other personnel matters, Shaun McAlpin, principal of Orangefield High School, was named as assistant superintendent of business services and financial operations at Monday night’s meeting.

Kay Karr, interim school superintendent, said the business superintendent keeps the school district afloat.

“We’re excited for him,” she said. “He’s a really talented young man and a high achiever.”

Karr said the downside is a void is created at the high school and whoever replaces McAlpin has some big shoes to fill.