Smet reflects on his tenure as Piedmont athletic director

Bradley Smet, Piedmont Athletics Director, said he will resign at the end of the school year. (Photo by Julie Reichle)

Bradley Smet has resigned as Piedmont High School’s athletic director as of the end of the school year. He served in the position for almost four years.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time working here at Piedmont,” Smet said. “I feel I’ve helped make a lot of changes and growth within the athletic department. I’m going to pursue some options within my own career.”

Smet said he will pursue another athletic director position in the Bay Area, possibly in the South Bay. He said he was initially thinking about stepping down last Thanksgiving and told the Piedmont Unified School District in January that he would be leaving.

Piedmont High is also losing second-year principal Sukanya Goswami, who announced in February that she would be leaving at the end of the school year. Assistant Principal Erin Igoe is also leaving at the end of the school year and her position will not be filled due to budget cuts. With the principal position open, it’s not clear when the district will hire a replacement for Smet.

Smet’s resignation was accepted at the Feb. 14 meeting of the Board of Education.

Smet was hired in October 2020, amid the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, all school sports were postponed until the following spring. During Smet’s tenure, Piedmont relaunched its sports programming, then successfully ramped back up to a normal schedule in the 2021-22 school year.

In addition to his duties as athletic director, Bradley Smet was also an assistant during the inaugural season of girls flag football. Here, he watches quarterback Friedie Schickedanz take a snap.

In 2022, PUSD undertook a Title IX audit and added two girls sports (flag football and beach volleyball). During Smet’s time at Piedmont, multiple sports have also won North Coast Section championships (girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, and boys water polo). Several individual athletes competed at the top levels in individual sports, such as cross country, track and field, and swimming.

Smet is proud of all of that.

“We were one of the first schools in the Bay Area to get our students back in sports and on campus,” Smet said. “Being able to get back out in the world, being able to do the sports they love, did a lot mentally for our student athletes.”

Bradley Smet (left) and football coach Jordan Seiden at a parents meeting during the 2022 season.

He’s proud of changes in the program since then, too — there are new sports and additional levels of existing programs.

“We added freshmen level of soccers. We fully developed the boys volleyball program. Adding beach volleyball, girls flag football. The addition of those sports has led to a boom in the number of athletes participating. And the focus on Title IX. Being able to make the changes within the school and athletics culture to make this a place that really values our athletes and make sure that every single one matters.”

The boys football team underwent multiple controversies during Smet’s tenure. Some parents pushed for the varsity team to be disbanded for the 2022 season. The varsity team did start the season, but had to abandon its season after injuries left just 13 available players.

Piedmont athletic director Bradley Smet watches a football practice in this file photo from 2022. He announced he will resign at the end of the school year.

Smet said about 600 of 789 students (including Millennium High School) participate in athletics.

When asked what problems will be there for his successor, Smet said, “The challenges in Piedmont are always going to be facilities. How do we make use of our limited facilities? Thankfully, the football field/soccer field/lacrosse field has been completed still with the track to come.”

He also noted the delay in the rebuilding of the pool.

“The number of programs, the number of athletes we have, it’s hard to be in multiple places at one time, trying to make sure you’re supporting teams as much as possible. The continual focus on making sure there’s not a step backwards in the progress that we made on Title IX.”

Smet will be missed, according to boys basketball coach Ben Spencer.

“I have a great working relationship with Bradley Smet,” Spencer said. “I think he’s a great athletic director. He has been wonderful with all the kids, knows all their names. He had a pretty heavy lift the past few years. He brought us through COVID. He was instrumental to getting all of us to play. He got us a 16-game basketball season so Luke Harris could have a senior year.

“I’m going to be devastated that he’s gone.”

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