NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodManitowoc


From Lambeau Field to Friday Night Lights, a former Packer now called coach

Posted at 5:29 PM, Aug 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-01 11:50:23-04
  • A former Packer's champion explains why he decided to become a coach.
  • After learning from an NFL veteran, a player speaks to what it is like.
  • What a high school team needs to emulate from the Packers' championship team to be great.

Evan Smith was a center with the Packers when they won the Super Bowl and now he works with another offensive line. That is the offensive line of the Manitowoc Lincoln Shipbuilders.

After a long NFL career mostly in Green Bay and Tampa, Smith knew he wanted to coach when the opportunity knocked on his front door.

"My neighbor, who is actually the linebackers coach here, came over to my house one day and was like, 'Hey man, you want to coach some offensive line for us?'", Smith explained. "I was like 'Yeah, sure. I'll give it a try' and I have been absolutely loving it ever since."

Now known as Coach Smith, Evan uses his playing days to teach his players growth.

"You know, I share my experiences with them", Smith said. "I share what it took to get to where I was and if they want to buy in 100 percent and go that path, I’m more than happy to help them walk that path."

One of those players learning from the NFL veteran is Manitowoc Lincoln left guard, Ayden Theel.

"I think about that all the time", Ayden said. "I'm like 'Wow, this Coach is crazy, he knows what he's doing, he's done it before.' It's awesome."

As a coach, Smith thinks back to the Super Bowl 45 winning Packers team and what it takes to be great.

"It shows, the perseverance of what you can do as a team", Smith says. "What happens when guys start believing in each other and come together. It is a culture, it is a learning process, you don't just show up one day and you're great at something."

"I'm going to coach these kids to the best of my ability and if I can help them learn some life lessons along the way, that's really what I want to do", said Smith.

Coach Smith's football career took him all around, but he believes he found a home in Manitowoc.