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Press Conference Transcripts
Penn State Football Staff Has Extensive Familiarity and Recruiting Ties to Mid-Atlantic, South and East
Penn State Coach Quotes
• Smith added the title of assistant head coach following the 2015 season.
• From Aliquippa, Pa., Smith returned to his alma mater in 2014 after successful high school and college coaching stops and playing professional football.
• In his role as the defensive recruiting coordinator, Smith has helped the Nittany Lions secure four consecutive Top 25 classes, including Top 15 classes in two of the last three seasons.
• The cornerbacks made several key plays to help the Nittany Lions to the 2016 Big Ten Championships. Grant Haley scooped up the blocked field goal attempt and returned it 60 yards for the game-winning touchdown in the upset win over No. 2 Ohio State. Haley also combined with safety Marcus Allen on the game-sealing tackle on fourth-and-1 on Wisconsin’s final drive of the Big Ten Championship game.
• Under Smith’s guidance, sophomore John Reid earned All-Big Ten honorable mention accolades after leading the Nittany Lions with 10 passes defended.
• The cornerback room was also successful in the classroom in 2016 as Haley earning CoSIDA Academic All-District accolades. Haley and Garrett Taylor also garnered Academic All-Big Ten honors.
• Smith’s second season saw the secondary rank eighth in FBS in passing yards allowed (173.5).
• Cornerbacks Trevor Williams and Grant Haley each earned honorable-mention All-Big Ten accolades in 2015.
• In his first year back at Penn State, he helped develop a secondary that boosted the Nittany Lions to second nationally in pass efficiency defense.
• Smith was the wide receivers coach at Temple in 2013 and helped the Owls’ passing game reach new heights.
• Temple set a school record for passing yards (2,996) and tied the school standard with 23 receiving touchdowns in 2013, with future New York Jet Robby Anderson gaining a school game record 249 yards.
• A standout player at Gateway High School near Pittsburgh, Smith was a highly successful head coach at his alma mater from 2002-12, compiling a record of 101-30 and posting four WPIAL AAAA runner-up finishes.
• He has mentored six NFL players, including former Nittany Lions Trevor Williams, Jordan Lucas, Justin King and Lydell Sargeant.
• Smith coached in three U.S. Army All-America and Semper Fidelis All-America games.
• Smith also coached at Duquesne University (four years) and Hempfield (Pa.) High School after completing his playing career, which spanned the National Football League, Arena Football League and Canadian Football League.
The Smith File
Hometown: Aliquippa, Pa.
Alma Mater: The Pennsylvania State University
Degree: Bachelors, Business Management.
Family: Wife, Alison; son, Justin King; daughter, Haley.
2014-current - Penn State (defensive recruiting coordinator/cornerbacks)
2013 - Temple (wide receivers)
2003-12 - Gateway (Pa.) High School (head coach and athletic director)
2002 - Gateway High School (head coach)
2001 - Gateway High School (offensive coordinator)
1997-2000 - Duquesne (passing coordinator)
1996 - Hempfield High School (assistant coach)
Career Record: 101-30
Penn State University (1987-91)
Washington Redskins (1992) - Wide Receiver
CFL Toronto Argonauts (1993) - Wide Receiver
CFL Shreveport Pirates (1994-95) - Wide Receiver
AFL Albany Firebirds (1996) - Wide Receiver