SIDNEY, NE — The Red Raiders football program will have a new head coach beginning next season. 

Monday, the district announced Ryan Smith will take over as head coach of Sidney. He will replace Todd Ekart. 

Smith has 25 years of coach experience, including 21 as a head coach. His head coaching experience includes time at Hershey High School where he led the school to its first playoff wins in school history in 2012, according to Huskerland Preps.  He has been an assistant at Sidney High School the last three years. 

Smith was named Huskerland Prep's Coach of the Year twice in Class C2 — once in 2010 and again in 2012 while head coach of the Panthers.

He has coached in the West Nebraska All-Star Game twice. Smith was an assistant in the game in 2005 and head coach in 2015. 

"I am very excited to take on a new role within the Sidney Red Raider football program," Smith said in a statement. "I am very appreciative of the opportunity to lead this team."

Ekart has told News Channel Nebraska he has accepted a position at Lincoln Northwest, a new high school opening in the capital city in 2022. His second stint at Sidney lasted just one season. The Sidney School Board will address Ekart's resignation at its meeting this evening.