MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After the firing of head coach Mario Cristobal and hiring of former Illinois head coach Ron Turner, FIU seemed to be heading towards rock bottom. Wednesday, the school continued that slide.

According to ESPN college football reporter Brett McMurphy, Florida International University fired tight end coach Dennis Smith and defensive backs coach Jeff Popovich Wednesday. While firing a college coach isn’t necessarily shocking, Smith’s other job made the firing Wednesday puzzling.

Smith also served as Florida International’s recruiting coordinator.

In other words, FIU fired the man responsible for convincing recruits to come to the school on the same day the recruits’ binding national letters of intent were first allowed to be sent to the school.

Smith’s biggest challenge heading into Wednesday was convincing recruits the school’s coaching situation was finally stable.

According to, FIU’s class was ranked 110th in the country out of a possible 123 teams.


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