CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — Miami’s head football coach Mario Cristobal announced Friday the hiring of Miami native and NFL veteran Kevin Smith to the position of Hurricanes’ running backs coach. Smith’s hire is pending completion of a standard University background check.

Smith returns to his hometown after spending the previous two seasons working in the same capacity at Ole Miss.

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“From his playing days at Miami Southridge to his record-setting collegiate career to his five years in the NFL, Coach Smith has known nothing but success on the field,” Cristobal said. “In his five years as a college assistant coach, he has already showed an elite ability to prepare running backs for the next level. As one of the top young coaches in the nation, I know Coach Smith will recruit, coach and develop our running back room at a tremendous level and elevate the culture of our program. I’m fired up to add him to our offensive staff.”

In his most recent season with the Rebels, three of Smith’s running backs ranked in the top 25 of the Southeastern Conference in total rushing yards at the end of the regular season – Jerrion Early, Snoop Conner and Henry Parrish. Parrish, who was a Columbus High RB, was the winner of the inaugural CBS4 Nat Moore Trophy in 2019.

Ole Miss ranked No. 3 in the SEC in rushing yards in 2021, amassing 2,829 yards on the ground for an average of 217.6 per game.

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“Miami has arguably the richest tradition in college football history. It’s an honor to be the running backs coach here,” Smith said. “But with it, there’s also expectations. That’s what my game is built on – it’s built on developing and producing, and I’m ready for the challenge. I’m honored to be here and I think that a part of my job, along with the rest of the coaches on staff, is to take this thing to the next level. You’ll never fill the shoes of the guys who are on the walls here at The U, but you can continue to build on that legacy and do great things for not only the running backs who played here, but everybody from the University of Miami program.”

Prior to Ole Miss, Smith served as running backs coach at FAU from 2017-19, helping capture a pair of Conference USA titles.

Smith was also a standout running back at UCF, setting 17 school rushing records, including an FBS single-season record with 450 carries and 13 100-yards performances in 2007.

After earning first team All-America honors his junior season at UCF, Smith was selected in the 2008 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions in the third round. He went on to play five years for the Lions, amassing 17 rushing touchdowns while battling injuries during his career.

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Smith graduated from UCF in 2015 with a degree in liberal studies. Smith and his wife Tisha have six children: Kevin Jr., Dennis, Kai, Dennisha, Summer and Paris.

CBSMiami.com Team