Former Douglas High football coach and community member passes away |

Former Douglas High football coach and community member passes away

By Carter Eckl

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.