The emotion Piedmont head coach Steve Smith showed following Piedmont’s state championship win couldn’t be staged.

In postgame interviews following the win, Smith obviously was excited, but he wasn’t emotional yet. When a question about quarterback Taylor Hayes and the offensive line came up, Smith could no longer contain his emotions and the tears came.

“I try to be tough, but I’m an emotional guy on the inside,” Smith said. “I just love the guys that I coach with and the guys that I work with. Most of them have been with me 10 or 12 years. I’m extremely confident in what my coaches can do and these players are great. We spend as much time with them as we do our own kids.”

Smith’s win Thursday not only puts him as one of the best to ever coach at Piedmont and Calhoun County, but also in the state.

It was Piedmont’s third state title since 2009 and second in a row. All three have come during Smith’s time at Piedmont. He’s taken that program to another level and his success is being noticed across the state. He picked up his 200th win earlier this season and he also had success at Cedar Bluff before coming to Piedmont.

There’s been a lot of great coaches that have coached high school football in Alabama from Hoover’s Rush Propst, Clay County’s Danny Horn, Alexandria’s Larry Ginn and the list goes on and on. When Steve Smith’s career is done his name will be near the top of that list. If he keeps having success like he is, it may be at the very top.

Sports Writer Will Gaines: 256-235-3577. On Twitter: @wgaines_star.