Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
After a three year stint with the New York Jets, Mike Smith returns to Texas Tech as the co-defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach.
Coach: Mike Smith
Position: Co-Defensive Coordinator / Outside Linebackers
Alma Mater: Texas Tech
2009: Hawaii, Graduate Assistant
2010-2011: NY Jets, Intern
2012: NY Jets, Outside Linebackers
I didn't know this prior to doing the research, but Mike Smith actually spent a year in Hawaii with his former defensive coordinator, Greg McMackin. Again, coaching is a fraternity and you hire those close to you. Smith played at Texas Tech from 2000 through 2004 and was drafted in the 7th round by the Baltimore Ravens. A really bad injury ended up cutting Smith's career short and his NFL career ended in 2008.
Smith then spent a year with McMackin in Hawaii as a graduate assistant and at that time he talked a bit about what he was about:
"I consider myself to be old school," Smith said. "Football should be played as a man's sport. I don't hold anything back. Football isn't a game for women or children or the faint of heart. It's a tough sport."
After that year, Smith was hired an an intern with the New York Jets and spent two years in that role. Smith was apparently instrumental as an intern for the Jets in helping Aaron Maybin play a fantastic 2011:
"He probably spends more time than a whole lot of the other coaches on all the small parts of everyday practice that people don’t even recognize," Maybin says. "On top of that, he’s spending hours upon hours working with me. Obviously, I’m grateful for a reason. He’s gone above and beyond the call of duty when it comes to me. He’s definitely done a lot as far as helping to bring me along that he didn’t have to do. He knows how good I want to be and I think he wants to help me get there."
Then Smith yo-yo'ed a bit last year as he was allegedly hired by Washington St. as the linebackers coach and then later he was hired as the co-defensive coordinator for West Virginia, but then stayed all of two weeks as he took a position coach position with the Jets. So, both Leach and Holgorsen tried to hire Smith, but for whatever reason it didn't work out and I guess I find that interesting.
I don't know that we can really take all that much from this past season with the Jets, as this organization is a complete mess. Smith probably had little to do with any success or failure, but the Jets are still a pretty good defensive team, as they are 8th in total defense, but 21st in sacks. Again, this isn't necessarily Smith, but as the outside linebackers coach, some of this is on him. The outside linebackers certainly are not producing this year, but again, not following the Jets, I hate to give him too much credit or blame for this year.