A Scottsboro High School alum is taking over as the school’s new head volleyball coach.

Ashley Smart was approved as Scottsboro’s new coach during Mondays’ Scottsboro City Schools Board meeting.

Smart, who will also teach sixth grade at Collins Intermediate School,  is a 2015 Scottsboro graduate.

Smart played basketball and softball for the Wildcats before playing college softball at the University of West Alabama in Livingston. Smart was an assistant coach for the Scottsboro softball team a year ago and will serve in that role again next season.

Although she didn’t play volleyball in high school, Smart said her competitive fire will fuel her to make the program the best it can be.

“I’m a competitor, probably too much at times, but I hate to lose,” she said with a laugh. “I’m going to be studying (volleyball), going to be learning. I’m going to rules clinics and we’re going to have teams camps in July. I’m excited about it.”

Smart takes over for Patrick Kritner, who coached the Wildcats the past two seasons.

“Coaching volleyball was a great experience for me,” Kritner said. “Those girls are awesome. I had a lot of great support from the administration and parents. It was a really difficult decision to step down, but I thought it would be the best thing for the program in the long run. I know that Coach Smart will do a great job. She was a great athlete and student at Scottsboro and I know she will bring the same approach to excellence with the volleyball program.”

Scottsboro returns all but six seniors from last year’s team that lost in the first round of a challenging Class 5A Area 15 Tournament. The Wildcats’ area features state semifinalist Arab, North Super Regional qualifier Brewer and traditional state power Guntersville.

Smart said the program will hold a booster club meeting in the coming days so she can meet the players and their parents and lay out the groundwork for her first season.

“I want to bring the girls some stability in the program and want to (build up) the expectations,” Smart said. “I know they’ve had to adjust a lot to having different coaches. I feel like I can relate to them through my experiences of playing (sports) in high school and college.”

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