Smith steps down from track


Following the spring season, Varsity Cross Country coach Alex Smith is leaving Poway High School after four years of being the head coach. He took over mid-season during the 2019-20 cross country season. He will be attending UC Hastings Law School in San Francisco, Calif. in the fall.

Smith, who also coaches track in the spring,  had been a runner at Poway High School and went to Los Angeles for college. When he moved back home, he joined the coaching staff for the 2019-20 season. He was given a full-time role as the coach of the cross country team the following year.

Smith’s favorite part of cross country and running altogether is that anybody can become a good runner. In the last four years, Smith’s coaching has improved himself in addition to his students.

“The level of dedication that you put into the sport is what you get out of it. You can’t just be a star and not practice hard every day,” Smith said. “That’s kind of shown me, ‘hey, these kids have a work ethic,’ and I’ve kind of taken from that and built upon my work ethic in my personal life.”

This year’s senior class is the first group of students that Smith has coached all four years and will see graduate. Smith said that it will be a bittersweet experience knowing that he will also be leaving.

“I was already giving my all every day during practice but Coach Alex [Smith] helped me to better redistribute that dedication to other places in my life as well,” senior Kaipo Christensen said.

Over the last four years, Smith has gotten to know each of his players and he has encouraged many of them.

“Coach Smith has really pushed me to connect more with my teammates,” senior Carter Schoon said. “He’s always encouraging me to go talk to other people and be more of a leader, and that’s really helped me mature as a person.”


Smith did not have a typical post high school graduation route, taking college classes on and off until he graduated with his bachelor’s degree at 27 years old.

After law school at UC Law San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings), Smith plans to become an attorney specializing in financial acquisitions and mergers, something that has always interested him.

“I will definitely miss watching kids hit their marks that they’ve been aiming for, and that moment of excitement that ‘I’ve worked really hard and I accomplished this goal for myself,’” Smith said.