CHADRON, Neb. (AP) — The longtime athletic director at Chadron State College has announced his retirement.

Brad Smith said Tuesday he would step down once his successor is hired. Smith has been the western Nebraska school's athletic director for 26 years.

Under Smith the Eagles joined the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and NCAA Division II in the early 1990s. President Randy Rhine said Smith has a "fantastic legacy" at Chadron State and that he couldn't thank him enough for what he's done for Eagles athletics.

Smith was head football coach from 1987-2004 and remains the school's winningest coach. He was the RMAC coach of the year in 1996 and 2001 and he shared it in 1999. He coached five conference championship teams and led the Eagles to the playoffs four times.