Brad Smith began his career at Lisbon High School in Lisbon, Iowa, in 1978 and led his teams to seven traditional state championships (1980, 1982, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1990) in 13 seasons. He became head coach at City High School in Iowa City, Iowa, in 1991 and led his teams to three traditional state championships (1992, 1999 and 2002) in 21 seasons. Smith returned to Lisbon in 2012 and is in his 39th season as a coach. In 2017, he won his 11th state team title, tying the Iowa record for most traditional state team wrestling championships held by Siddens. He has coached four four-time state wrestling champions, which is more than any other coach in Iowa history.