Bahamas volleyball coach found dead
NASSAU –– A man, 43, was found dead on the floor of his St Albans Drive apartment by a relative around 2:30 p.m. yesterday, police reported.
The Nassau Guardian understands that man is Devince Smith, past president of the New Providence Volleyball Association and an associate at Pictet Bank & Trust Ltd.
He was also head coach of The Bahamas’ senior men’s national volleyball team.
Forced to stand behind the police tape, co-workers and friends, and several volleyball players Smith coached stood in silence as police processed the murder scene.
Chief Superintendent Paul Rolle said a relative used a key to open the front door of the apartment and found the victim. He said there was no sign of forced entry.
Rolle was unable to describe the injuries, but indicated there appeared to have been a struggle.
While it was unclear when the man was killed, Rolle told the media in front of the gated apartment complex: “It is not a recent scene. We are not quite sure what transpired . . . . We have some people here now and we are calling out some more forensic persons to help us determine that.”
Smith’s cousin Joe Smith, president of the Bahamas Volleyball Federation (BVF), told The Guardian the volleyball coach cared deeply about the development of sports, particularly volleyball in The Bahamas.
He described Smith as a nice person who was always fun to be around.
“We served together in volleyball for a very long time,” Smith said. “It’s just very unfortunate. It’s shocking. He was very energetic and very helpful. He was always smiling and willing to do the work of volleyball in the country to get us to the next level.
“In addition to being my cousin, he was a good personal friend. We were like brothers in the sporting world; just one family in volleyball.”
Nassau Guardian reporter Krystel Rolle-Brown, a close friend who was coached off and on by Smith over the past six years, said he was a great coach and a kind-hearted and upfront person, whose love for the sport called for “great personal sacrifice”.
“He was very supportive in my personal and volleyball development,” she said.
“He always encouraged me to play hard as he did with many of the players. His singular goal was to take the sport to new levels. He was integral to the recent development of the sport and worked behind the scenes to ensure that Bahamas volleyball remained relevant.
“He was kind-hearted and very upfront. He will be missed and I doubt that there will ever be another like Devince. His love for the sport called for great personal sacrifice. And he continued to sacrifice his time for the advancement of the sport.”
The incident marks the 143rd murder in The Bahamas this year.
This represents a 22 per cent increase in murders when compared to this time last year. Up to December 21, 2014, there were 117 murders.