Former West High School coach, Will Smith, Jr., dies at age 53

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Students are mourning the death of Will Smith Jr. — a former athlete and head coach at West High School.

Smith died Monday, April 15 at age 53.

Smith graduated from Bakersfield High School and went on to play basketball for the Renegades at Bakersfield College.

After earning his bachelor’s degree in economics and his masters degree in education, he came back to Bakersfield and married his wife, Gurmit Gill. They had two children together.

Smith went on to coach basketball at West High, leading the Vikings for six years.

His service is set for Sunday, April 21 at Greenlawn Cemetery on Panama Lane. It starts at 1 p.m. and is open to the public.

Smith’s family says, in lieu of flowers, you are asked to donate to the American Heart Association.

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