Former Douglas High football coach and community member passes away

An animated Rod Smalley gives instructions on the Douglas High sidelines.

An animated Rod Smalley gives instructions on the Douglas High sidelines.

Former Douglas High defensive coordinator and linebacker coach Rod Smalley passed away January 1 at the age of 50.

Smalley survived by his parents, Roy and Karen, as well as his children Madison, Christopher and Cole along with their mother, Wendy.

"Rod was a friend, confidante and mentor to everyone. Rod was the ultimate father, and it was clear that his primary goal in life was to be a great dad and role model for his kids," said Douglas High head coach Ernie Monfiletto in a Facebook post. "He had high expectations for his children and their success reflects that effort, they are his legacy!"

"Rod was a very passionate man about the game of football. First his kids and second the game of football. If I had to put it in order it would be family, football and outdoors," added Monfiletto. “We all feel like we’ve lost a dear friend. I’ve quite often talked about Rod being a cartoon character. It just couldn’t be real that somebody could be that caring and compassionate all rolled into one."

Smalley, a former standout at UCLA as a linebacker in the 1990s who also spent time in the NFL, served as a coach for the Tiger football team for a number of years after being hired in 2012.

Inside the community, Smalley worked with ASPIRE out of Minden, serving as a truancy officer while also filling in as a part-time social studies and physical education teacher when needed.

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