Central High School was in a class all by itself during Larry Smith's eight seasons as the boys' coach. The Wildcats were known as the untouchables as they never lost a game against a Lauderdale County apponent during Smith's career. Central won eight county championships and posted an overall record of 198-48. He took three teams to the state tournament at a time when only region champions participated. Two of his teams advanced to the state semifinals and another made it to the championship game. He was the state 3A Coach of the Year in 1978, and coached the North All-Star Team.
His first head basketball job was at Lauderdale County where he produced a 14-7 record in a program that won only three games combined in the previous two seasons. He graduated from Coffee High School in 1967 and averaged 16 points per game as a senior, while being selected to the All-Tennessee Valley Conference and All-Quad Cities Teams. He earned a scholarship to UNA where he was a four-year starter and named to the allconference team three times. He broke the school record for points in a single game with 55, while leading the Lions in scoring and free throw percentage. He was inducted into the UNA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993, and was principal at Lexington High School for ten years.