Troy Smeltzer always considered the players and coaches in the Dallastown High School boys' basketball program as his second family.
Smeltzer's first commitment is to his own family, and for that reason, he submitted his resignation as the Wildcats' head coach this week.
Smeltzer stepped down after three seasons, during which his teams compiled a 46-29 won-loss record. The 2010-11 team won 21 games and advanced to the District 3 Class AAAA quarterfinals, where it lost on a last-second shot to Cedar Cliff.
Before becoming head coach, Smeltzer spent 10 years in the program as an assistant coach.
He and his wife, Tara, recently became the parents of a baby girl. The Smeltzers also have 13-year-old twin daughters who are very active in sports.
"After I evaluated everything, the word 'time' kept coming to me," Smeltzer said on Thursday night. "I came to a decision that something has to give. I just didn't have the time for everything (parenting, teaching and coaching). I need to be here with my family. It (stepping down) was probably the toughest decision I had to make in my life."
Smeltzer said during his time at Dallastown, he worked with some wonderful people.
"I had a chance to come on board with Jay Rexroth (the former head coach), and he really taught me a lot. He became my mentor," Smeltzer said. "I'll always remember the interaction with current players, former players, and the other coaches. When the players do graduate, you like to say that they not only learned basketball, but the game of life."
Smeltzer's departure didn't cool his passion for the game. At some point, he could return to the coaching ranks.
"I'm kind of looking at this as a timeout," he said. "There will be a time I'll definitely look into returning, if not as head coach, maybe an assistant or maybe as a seventh-and-eighth-grade coach. I'm not worried about a title."
For the present time, though, Smeltzer will put his whistle and clipboard away.
"Basketball has become a year-around sport, especially if you want to be good at it," he said. "We have a lot of interest among the players coming back. If I can't give my all, it's not fair to them."
-- Reach Dick VanO linda at dvanolin firstname.lastname@example.org or 505-5407.