West Virginia has hired Mike Smith as a defensive assistant as expected, the school announced Friday. Coach Dana Holgorsen will announce the coaching responsibilities of his new hires once his staff is complete.
The move had been widely reported for the past week.
Here is more from the school release:
“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.”
West Virginia has also hired Oklahoma State assistant Joe DeForest. The Mountaineers are in search of a replacement for defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel, who is now at Arizona.