John L. Smith new razorback coach for 9 months! Who is he?

I am hearing that Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports and others (like CBS Sports) are claiming that John L. Smith is the new razorback football coach for at least 9 months. Bo Mattingly on 103.7 the buzz radio said a few moments ago that Smith knows all the coaches on the current staff in Fayetteville including the new coaches that came from Ohio State.

Who is he according to Wikipedia?

John L. Smith

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For other people named John Smith, see John Smith (disambiguation).
For other people named John L. Smith, see John L. Smith (disambiguation).
John L. Smith
Sport(s) Football
Current position
Title Head coach
Team Arkansas Razorbacks
Conference SEC
Biographical details
Born (1948-11-15) November 15, 1948 (age 63)
Idaho Falls, Idaho, U.S.
Playing career
1968–1970 Weber State
Position(s) Linebacker, quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
Weber State (GA)
Montana (assistant)
Nevada (DC)
Idaho (DC)
Wyoming (DC)
Washington State (DC)
Utah State
Michigan State
Arkansas (ST)
Weber State
Head coaching record
Overall 132–86 (.606)
Bowls 1–6
Tournaments 3–5 (I-AA playoffs)
College Football Data Warehouse
Accomplishments and honors
2 Big Sky (1989, 1992)
2 Big West (1996–1997)
2 Conference USA (2000–2001)
Idaho Athletics Hall of Fame (2001)
Big Ten Coach of the Year (2003)

John L. Smith (born November 15, 1948) is an American college football coach, currently the interim head coach at the University of Arkansas. He previously coached at Weber State University. He was previously the head coach at the University of Idaho (1989–1994), Utah State University (1995–1997), the University of Louisville (1998–2002), and Michigan State University (2003–2006). Entering the 2012 season, Smith has a career head coaching record of 132–86. (.606). On April 23rd, 2012, Smith was named head coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks football team.



[edit] Early years and playing career

Born in Idaho Falls in eastern Idaho and raised in nearby Iona, Smith lettered in football, basketball, and track at Bonneville High School, and graduated in 1967. He played college football at Weber State College in Ogden, Utah, as both a linebacker and quarterback in the Big Sky, then a Division II conference. He graduated in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in physical education.

[edit] Early coaching career

Smith began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at his alma mater, Weber State, in 1971. For the next 17 seasons, Smith was an assistant coach, first at Montana for five seasons (1972–76) and then at Nevada (1977–81) for five more as the defensive coordinator. He then joined Dennis Erickson as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for seven seasons at three schools: Idaho (198285), Wyoming (1986), and Washington State (1987–88). The middle initial “L” became part of his public moniker in 1982, due to another John Smith on the athletic staff at Idaho, John G. Smith, the equipment manager and former head baseball coach.[1]

[edit] Head coach

After serving as an assistant head coach for Dennis Erickson for seven seasons, Smith began his head coaching career in 1989 at Idaho, where he posted a 53–21 record (.716) in six seasons. Under his leadership, the Idaho Vandals won two Big Sky championships and made the 16-team NCAA Division I-AA playoffs five times, advancing to the national semifinals in 1993. Smith’s 53 wins are the most in school history. His starting salary at Idaho was under $60,000, but in 1991 he became the first UI coach to be granted a multi-year contract.[2]

Smith inherited an 11–2 team from Keith Gilbertson that had made the I-AA semifinals in 1988, and returned All-American quarterback in John Friesz. Despite losing the first two games of the 1989 season to Washington State and Portland State, Idaho went undefeated (8–0) in conference play, the only time in school history. The Vandals lost in the first round of the I-AA playoffs, and finished at 9–3. Friesz won the Walter Payton Award and was drafted in 1990 by the San Diego Chargers and spent a decade in the NFL. Smith’s next quarterback at Idaho was southpaw Doug Nussmeier, who threw for over 10,000 yards and won the Walter Payton Award in 1993; he was drafted in the fourth round by the New Orleans Saints in 1994.

In January 1995, he left Moscow to move up to Division I-A at Utah State in the Big West, with a five-year contract exceeding $100,000 per year.[3] He stayed in Logan with the Aggies for three seasons (16–18, .470), then went east to Louisville, agreeing to a five-year deal at $375,000 per year.[4] He put together a 41–21 record (.661) in five seasons (1998–2002), including five straight bowl appearances and consecutive Conference USA titles in 2000 and 2001. Under Smith’s tutelage, quarterback Dave Ragone was a three-time Conference USA player of the year (2000–02).

[edit] Michigan State

After the 2002 season, Smith was hired as the head coach at Michigan State, which created controversy because Smith was hired before Louisville’s bowl game that season, and he did not inform his Louisville players of the decision until halftime of the bowl game, which they lost to Marshall.

[edit] 2003

After opening his first season at Michigan State in 2003 with wins over Western Michigan and Rutgers, Smith’s team was unable to hold off a series of late game drives by WAC member Louisiana Tech, losing a 20–19 decision. The Spartans ended the regular season 8–4, and were then defeated by Nebraska, 17–3, in the 2003 Alamo Bowl, a game which also featured the injury of the Spartans’ anticipated star quarterback Drew Stanton while he was playing on special teams. Smith was named the Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year in 2003.

[edit] 2004

The second game of the 2004 season was the second of a “home-and-home” series against Rutgers, which the Spartans lost in New Jersey, 19–14. The Spartans also lost to Notre Dame and dropped a three-overtime game against rival Michigan, but beat a top-10 ranked Wisconsin team, 49–14. The Spartans lost their final two games that season and did not receive a bowl invitation—the first time a Smith-coached team hadn’t gone to a bowl since 1997.

[edit] 2005

Michigan State began the 2005 season with a 4–0 record in non-conference play. However, the team was only able win one game in the Big Ten and finished the year 5–7, losing several game by more than 28 points. The Spartans were again unable to beat Michigan, losing 34–31 in the second straight overtime game between the two schools.

One of the most significant games of the season was against Ohio State. The Spartans had a brief 17–7 lead in the second quarter. With 24 seconds and no time outs remaining in the first half, Michigan State faced a second down and 12 yards to go at the Ohio State 17 yard-line. Michigan State tried a running play resulting in no gain. Facing third down, Michigan State likely could have easily spiked the ball to stop the clock. However, with the clock running, it was perceived by many fans and sports commentators that chaos reigned on the MSU sideline. The confusion resulted in Michigan State lining up on the field with only ten players. A field goal attempt was blocked, and returned by Ohio State for a touchdown to cut the lead to 17–14. In half-time comments on ABC, Smith blamed the coaching staff remarking “That’s a dang coaching mistake…the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up!”[5]

Michigan State finished the season 5–7, missing out on a bowl bid for the second straight year.

[edit] 2006

Michigan State began 2006 with three wins and then suffered an infamous late-game loss against Notre Dame. The Spartans led 37–21 midway through the fourth quarter, but, despite a raging thunderstorm, the Irish rallied for a 40–37 victory.

The following week, Michigan State’s homecoming game, the Spartans were defeated 23–20 by an Illinois team that had not won a Big Ten game since 2004. After the game, players from both teams fought at midfield after several Illinois players tried to plant their flag at midfield of Spartan Stadium, a reference to actions taken by MSU players in the 2005 Notre Dame game in South Bend. In the post-game press conference, Smith admitted the coaches were having trouble motivating the players. Smith also slapped himself in the face jokingly as a reference to a claim by Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis who stated that he had been hit in the face during a sideline scrum earlier that season when his Fighting Irish played Michigan State.[citation needed]

Following another defeat to Michigan, Michigan State hosted and lost 38–7 to top-ranked Ohio State. At halftime, Spartan Stadium had mostly emptied, with a large portion of the remaining attendees being Ohio State fans.

MSU followed up those losses with a 41–38 win at Northwestern. The Spartans, down 38–3 in the middle of the third quarter, rallied for 38 unanswered points for the largest comeback in NCAA history. The Spartans then fell to Indiana the following week.

On November 1, Michigan State decided not to retain John L. Smith, and the remainder of his contract was bought out for $1.5 million.[6] Smith and his coaching staff stayed on the job through the end of the 2006 season. Michigan State finished 4–8 (1–7 in the Big Ten). Smith was replaced by Mark Dantonio, previously the head coach of Cincinnati on November 27.[7] Smith had a record of 22–26 (.458) in his four seasons at Michigan State.

Smith has compiled a record of 132–86 (.605) in his 18 years as a college head coach. 12 of his 18 teams have participated in postseason play, including seven straight from 1997–2003. Smith is one of 18 head coaches in college football history to take three different teams to bowl games. A defensive coach for most of his career, Smith is also known as one of the disciples of the spread offense, learned from Dennis Erickson, which he introduced at Michigan State.

[edit] Weber State

After two years of broadcasting, Smith returned to the sidelines in 2009 as the special teams coach at the University of Arkansas under head coach Bobby Petrino, his former assistant.[8] Following his third year at Arkansas, Smith left to lead his fifth Division I program at his alma mater, Weber State, an FCS program in the Big Sky Conference.[9] Smith succeeded Ron McBride, who retired after seven seasons with the Wildcats.[8]

[edit] Arkansas

On April 23, 2012, Smith was selected as the new head coach for the University of Arkansas following Bobby Petrino being fired.

[edit] Personal life, family, and honors

Smith married Diana Flora on August 15, 1970, and they have three children: Nicholas, Kayse, and Sam. He is the uncle of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith.

Smith has earned a reputation for his adventurous attitude and actions, including para-gliding with his children in Zermatt, Switzerland, climbing 19,340-foot Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, flying in a T-38 Talon jet trainer in Texas at Randolph Air Force Base, skydiving from 14,000 feet over Greensburg, Indiana, and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, Spain.

In 2000 Sports Illustrated recognized Smith as one of Idaho‘s top 100 athletes of the 20th century. He was later inducted into the Idaho Athletics Hall of Fame in 2001.

[edit] Head coaching record

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Idaho Vandals (Big Sky Conference) (1989–1994)
1989 Idaho 9–3 8–0 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round    
1990 Idaho 9–4 6–2 2nd L NCAA Division I-AA Quarterfinal    
1991 Idaho 6–5 4–4 T–4th      
1992 Idaho 9–2 6–1 1st L NCAA Division I-AA First Round    
1993 Idaho 11–3 5–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division I-AA Semifinal    
1994 Idaho 9–3 5–2 T–2nd L NCAA Division I-AA First Round    
Idaho: 53–20 34–11  
Utah State Aggies (Big West Conference) (1995–1997)
1995 Utah State 4–7 4–2 T–2nd      
1996 Utah State 6–5 4–1 T–1st      
1997 Utah State 6–6 4–1 T–1st L Humanitarian    
Utah State: 16–18 12–4  
Louisville Cardinals (Conference USA) (1998–2002)
1998 Louisville 7–5 4–2 3rd L Motor City    
1999 Louisville 7–5 4–2 T–2nd L Humanitarian    
2000 Louisville 9–3 6–1 1st L Liberty    
2001 Louisville 11–2 6–1 1st W Liberty 16 17
2002 Louisville 7–6 5–3 3rd L GMAC    
Louisville: 41–21 25–9  
Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Conference) (2003–2006)
2003 Michigan State 8–5 5–3 T–4th L Alamo    
2004 Michigan State 5–7 4–4 T–5th      
2005 Michigan State 5–6 2–6 9th      
2006 Michigan State 4–8 1–7 T–10th      
Michigan State: 22–26 12–20  
Weber State Wildcats (Big Sky Conference) (2012–present)
2012 Weber State            
Weber State: 0-0    
Total: 132–86  
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
#Rankings from final Coaches’ Poll.
°Rankings from

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John L. Smith new razorback coach? Who is he? April 23, 2012 – 2:19 pm


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