Shelbyville basketball coach David Schmitt moves on
The back-to-back Basketball State Champion Shelbyville Dragons will return to the court next year without Coach David Schmitt. Schmitt has accepted an Athletic Director position with Chapel Hill ISD in Mount Pleasant, where he will also be handling head basketball coaching duties.
Coach Schmitt has established himself as a living legend in Shelbyville. His four years at Shelbyville came with four trips to the Region III Tournament, three Region III Championships, three trips to the State Basketball Tournament, back-to-back State Championships, and an incredible 40-0 record in Dragon Gymnasium.
“I came here knowing we were going to be pretty good, but I never would have imagined we would’ve had a four-year run like we had. Leaving here 40-0, never losing at home, is a great accomplishment. I’m kind of going out like The Last Dance with Michael Jordan,” Schmitt said with a smile.
“But yeah, what we’ve accomplished here will be hard to repeat anywhere. I think that we’ll do great things at Chapel Hill, but what we did here at Shelbyville is once in a lifetime.”
The first of Schmitt’s State Championships with Shelbyville came 35 years after the Dragons’ last State Championship in 1984 under Coach Joe Tom Schillings. Schillings is also a two-time State Champion with the Dragons having also won the 1982 Basketball State Tournament.
COVID-19 cut down the Dragons’ hopes of an undisputed 2020 State Championship. Instead the Dragons were forced to settle for the title of Co-State Champions with the other three remaining teams in contention. Shelbyville’s status as defending State Champ, however, lends a legitimacy to the Dragons’ title that none of the other 2A teams can claim.
While Chapel Hill is undoubtably excited to have landed a coach of his caliber, the community of Shelbyville will certainly mourn his departure. Sources close to the situation tell us that Shelbyville ISD pulled out all the stops while trying to retain Schmitt’s services. The source reports that Schmitt was offered an increase in salary to match the Chapel Hill offer and was also extended the position of Assistant Athletic Director at Shelbyville.
The fit with the Chapel Hill Devils proved too enticing for Coach Schmitt to pass up. Chapel Hill has no football program, meaning that Schmitt will be able to enter the gym with his complete team as soon as the doors open in August.
This also means that Homecoming will be at a basketball game, pep rallies will be held before basketball games, and all eyes will solely be focused on his program.
Shelbyville will always hold a special place in Schmitt’s heart. It was the place that he won his first State Championship. It was also the place that he chalked up his 600th career win.
“[Shelbyville’s] been, and I know it’s cliché to say family, but it really has been a family feeling.” Schmitt. Said.
“What made the decision so hard are the kids and the community. They accepted me. Probably the most upset person about me leaving is my dad, who was really upset because Shelbyville treated him like family, so he was heartbroken when I told him I was leaving. That’s just a good example of what this community means to me and my family.”
One thing is certain, whoever takes over the Shelbyville basketball program will have some big shoes to fill.