St. Joe’s Holzer will lead Baltimore and TJ’s Smith will guide the Metro team
The Baltimore Touchdown Club All-Star Classic, which celebrated its 20th Anniversary in December, has announced the head coaches for its 2016 Baltimore vs. Metro game, scheduled to return to Archbishop Spalding High School in December, 2016.
Rich Holzer of Mount St. Joseph, who took over in Irvington last fall after four successful seasons at Meade High School, will lead the Baltimore team, while the Metro squad will be coached by Jerry Smith, who will be entering his third season as the head coach at Gov. Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick County.
“I was extremely excited and flattered to be selected to lead the Baltimore team. It is a great honor because you were chosen by your peers in the coaching profession,” said Holzer who had the Gaels in the VSN Top 10 throughout 2015. “Anytime you are recognized as a good leader and role model by other outstanding coaches it is a tremendous honor as well as responsibility. I'm looking forward to leading the team and putting an excellent product on the field next December.”
Under Holzer, St. Joe finished 8-3 last season, including 4-2 in the MIAA A Conference, the area’s toughest league, where the Gaels finished in a three-way tie for third. He had a winning record in all four years at Meade, reaching the state semifinals twice, and in 2012 was named Varsity Sports Network’s Co-Coach of the Year.
“I’m extremely honored to be selected as the Head Coach of the Metro team. This will be my fifth time coaching in the game and to be the head coach is a great honor,” said Smith, who is 10-10 in first two years at TJ. “The BTC All Star Game is a tremendous game highlighting our area's football talent. I don't think there's too many games that can top it.”
Smith, who replaced longtime Patriots’ coach Ben Wright in 2013, spent three years as an assist at Brunswick High School, where he played his prep football. He also started his coaching career at Brunswick. In addition, he has coached at Westminster and during two different stints at Frederick High School. In college he played LB at Lebanon Valley College.
The Metro Team leads the all-time series 11-9, but Baltimore won the 2015 game 31-26. In 2015, the BTC also introduced a second game at the Classic, as East met West. That game, or game matching Mountain vs. Shore is also expected to be part of the 2016 BTC All-Star Classic.