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Orndorff goes out in style

Smithsburg's track coach stepping down after 16 seasons, 11 state titles; will still coach football

Smithsburg's track coach stepping down after 16 seasons, 11 state titles; will still coach football

June 01, 2006|by ANDREW MASON

Buddy Orndorff won his 11th - and final - Maryland Class 1A state championship last Saturday as head coach of the Smithsburg boys and girls track and field teams.

He officially announced Wednesday that he is stepping down after 16 years at the helm.

"My son, Kyle, is a freshman and he's a baseball player. And I only got to see him play three games this year," Orndorff said. "I think it'd be neat to just follow my family for a while."

He said Ray Shriver, his assistant the last several years and Smithsburg's head indoor track coach, will likely be his successor.

"It's not like I'm dying or anything," he said. "I'll gladly help Ray out with anything he needs."

Orndorff, who plans to continue coaching the Smithsburg football team this fall, is going out on top in track.

Last weekend, his boys team scored 116 points - more than twice as many as runner-up Brunswick (56) - to win its first state title since 1978.

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"We all felt confident that if everyone did what they were capable of doing, we could win," Orndorff said. "But for our guys to do something like that was just incredible. In my wildest dreams, I never anticipated that."

His girls team owned Class 1A for nearly a decade. After the Leopards won consecutive state titles in 1992-93, they won eight straight from 1996 to 2003.

"I'm really happy for the boys. It was a long time coming," said Orndorff, who guided the boys team to state runner-up finishes in 1994 and 1997. "The girls kind of ruined it for everyone by winning eight in a row, because it was like if you didn't win the state title, you weren't anything.

"Before I started coaching, being one of the top 10 teams in the state of Maryland was a good year. That's still doing something, but the girls ruined that perspective."

He said both of his teams bought into his system.

"I've always been extremely lucky," he said. "We've had a lot of good people go through here, and it was always about the team. For 95 percent of the time, we were able to get that message across."

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