SMITH CENTER, Kan. — Two pillars of the community here retired in November.
Husband and wife, Roger and Pam Barta ended tenures at positions where each did a lot to strengthen Smith Center and put the town on the map.
Roger just completed his 35th season as head coach for the Smith Center Redman football team.
During that time his teams won state championships in 1982, 1986, 1999, and 2004-2008. Those last five championships covered a Kansas record and then-longest national streak of 79 consecutive victories before Smith Center lost to Centralia in the 2-1A 2009 championship game.
The road leading to Hubbard Stadium and Smith Center Public School is called Roger Barta Way.
Pam ended a career in finance working 4 1/2 years as the city’s economic development director. She had been considering the last six months whether she would retire this year or in 2013.
“With him quitting I decided it was time for me to quit and that way we could do some things we wanted to do,” she said. “So, we’re going to try the city life.”
They rented an apartment near the home of their daughter and her family in Andover, just outside of Wichita.