Smith was excited about the new appointment saying, "I am looking forward to this new challenge and hope to see all of our athletic programs be successful. I have always believed in this school district. I continue to believe that we can be successful in all that we do and that's what I want to see from all of our athletic teams."
Smith's selection as Athletic Director in addition to being Head Football Coach was immediately hailed by some of the district's boosters. Booster Club Secretary Andrew Bagley said, "Russell has been one of the hardest workers in the HWHSD Athletic Department for over a decade. He took over a program in the doldrums and has led it to four playoff appearances in the last six years, a conference title for the first time in 60 years, and an appearance in the state title game. I am confident that Russell will place the same amount of effort into guiding our overall program to a level where all sports eventually achieve significant levels of success."
Smith's is heading into his seventh season as the head football coach. He has an overall record of 36-31-1.