A Season of Turnaround for New Head Coach Kelly Ledwith
After being promoted as interim head coach seven games into the 2017 season, Kelly Ledwith has accepted to become the official Head Coach of The Santa Monica College (SMC) Corsairs football team for the 2019 season. Ledwith got his start at Fresno State as a student assistant. His first coaching job was at Cal Lutheran University. After that he went on to have four other coaching jobs, which included a stop back at Fresno State as a graduate assistant.
After a 4-6 record in 2018, Coach Ledwith noted that the past season was a "total rebuild" only having 12 Sophomores and 85 Freshmen on the team that suited up. This left him with what he pointed out was "basically an entire new team.” Ledwith admits that a few games got away from the team last season, but feels optimistic about the team’s ability to learn from those losses.
Going forward through spring training, Coach Ledwith and the Corsairs have 74 players that are actively on the roster from last season and players who are waiting to finish transferring to SMC. There are also hopes of filling out the roster with 15-30 recruits to make the team more diverse and experienced. Last spring coach Ledwith had 11 recruits, which wasn't enough as there were other holes to fill at other positions on the team. While the coach does want to find as many good recruits as he can, he also wants to be able to fit the team needs, and the needs of the program.
In the past, The Corsairs have held events like Super Saturday, where they host recruits and their parents to be shown around the campus, facilities, and the program. Super Saturdays are for the recruits to get a feel for the campus and experience what the SMC football program has to offer.
The continuity has helped coach Ledwith in his day-to-day operations. Last spring as interim coach, he was able to get jerseys, helmets, and other equipment without knowing the team's needs or budget. Now that he's familiar with SMC’s class system, he can help direct his players to campus resources.
Having a number of returning players is an advantage for the football team. "We've got players at every position this spring which wasn't the case in previous years," said Ledwith. The team can look forward to developing their strength and skills which Coach Ledwith accredits to the number of assistants on his staff.
Their annual Spring Mix-Up will be held on Wednesday, May 29 at Corsair Field where the offense will take on the defense.