West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen has announced that Mike Smith will join the Mountaineer coaching staff. Holgorsen will announce the coaching responsibilities of his new hires once his staff is complete.
“Mike has a promising future in the coaching profession, and I look forward to him joining the West Virginia coaching staff,” Holgorsen said. “I knew him during his playing days at Texas Tech, while I was on the coaching staff. He helped lay the groundwork that led to our success. He brings playing and coaching experience on both the college and professional levels.”
Smith comes to West Virginia after working for the past two and a half years with the outside linebackers for the New York Jets. He was recently promoted to full-time outside linebackers coach after serving as a coaching intern for the first two seasons.
He coached some of the Jets’ top linebacker talent and was on a staff which oversaw one of the NFL’s top defenses for the past two years. Some of his pupils included Aaron Maybin, Bart Scott and Jason Taylor. He was credited by Maybin for revitalizing his career after he was named the NFL Comeback Player of the Year for the 2011 season. The Jets defense finished the 2011 season ranked No. 5 in total defensive yards and No. 13 in rushing defense, allowing just 111.1 yards for game. The 2010 defense was No. 3 in the NFL in fewest rushing and total yards allowed, giving up only 90.9 rushing yards and 291.5 total yards per game. The Jets were No. 6 in scoring defense, giving up an average of 19.0 points per game.
“West Virginia University is one of the elite college football programs with a lot of history and tradition, and I am excited to join the staff,” Smith said. “I have known Dana for a long time, and it is evident to see how much he already has brought to the program in the short time he has been there. Having played in the Big 12 Conference, I look forward to being on the staff, as West Virginia makes the transition into a new era. The atmosphere and people at West Virginia were the biggest sell for me personally. It was like being at home.”
In 2009, Smith was on the coaching staff at Hawaii as the defensive graduate assistant, working with the linebackers. He played a key role in developing Blaze Soares and R.J. Kiesel-Kauhane. Soares was a first team all-Western Athletic Conference honoree, while the duo ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in tackles for the Warriors. Soares finished the season with 107 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and one interception, while Kiesel-Kauhane made 85 tackles, nine tackles for loss and two sacks.
Smith was a four-year starter at Texas Tech and is one of five players in Red Raiders’ history to play in 50 career games. During his final three years in Lubbock, he helped lead the Red Raiders to a 25-14 record and three bowl victories. He finished his collegiate career with 314 tackles, including seven sacks, 26.5 tackles for loss and two interceptions. As a senior in 2004, he tied for the team lead in tackles (83), had a sack, 7.5 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.
In 2005, Smith was a seventh round draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens. He played three seasons for Baltimore, adding depth behind NFL All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis. He was a member of the 2006 Ravens’ squad that finished 13-3 and won the AFC North Championship.
Smith, who grew up in Lubbock, Texas, is a 2004 graduate of Texas Tech with a bachelor’s degree in communications.