Artist honors slain football coach Corey Smith during Miami vs. Norland game

WEST LITTLE RIVER, Fla. – Artist Jermaine Faehre Green unveiled a large painting on Thursday night at the Miami-Dade College’s Nathaniel Traz-Powell Stadium, near the West Little River neighborhood.

It was a tribute to the late Corey Smith, a beloved football coach at Miami Senior High School and a Miami-Dade Public Schools employee for more than two decades.

The unveiling of the “Cleaning Out My Locker” portrait was on display during the half-time of a high school football game between Miami Senior High’s Stingarees and Miami Norland Senior High’s Vikings.

“It was an honor for me to do this for someone who did so much for our community,” Green said, adding he had known Smith for decades.

Detectives arrest teenage suspect in Coach Corey Smith's murder

Smith’s death was tragic. Green said that he broke down and cried while he worked on the painting for two weeks.

A 15-year-old boy is accused of killing Smith on Sept. 21 while trying to steal $7,450 from his home, 2140 NW 97th St., in West Little River. Before the murder, Smith told family and friends that he considered the boy a nephew. The boy’s father, who was Smith’s childhood friend, was killed during a police-involved shooting on Dec. 5 in Broward County.

Smith was 46. He developed a reputation in the community for influencing many students to succeed. Theo Kendrick, Smith’s friend, said the mural was very meaningful to him and to the Miami High students who are still grieving the loss.

“It’s a tough emotional season for them right now,” Kendrick said. “They’re playing out there with heavy hearts.”

The Vikings won 20-34. Green said the portrait belongs to the school and it will be on display at every Miami High football game this season.

Jermaine Faehre Green's portrait of football coach Corey Smith was on display Thursday night during a Miami High School football game against the Vikings. (Local 10 News)

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.