Brian Smith, Ex-Wolverine

Brian Smith, Ex-Wolverine


December 8, 2017

Brian Smith (image via MGoBlue.com)

Safeties coach Brian Smith is leaving Ann Arbor to become the defensive coordinator at Rice. Rice hired a new coach this off-season named Mike Bloomgren, who worked with Smith with the New York Jets.

Michigan will be on its third safeties coach of the Jim Harbaugh era, following Greg Jackson in 2015 and Smith in 2016-2017. The safeties played fairly well under Smith, considering he had two first-time starters (Tyree Kinnel, Josh Metellus) in 2017 and helped get Delano Hill to be a mid-round draft pick. However, the safeties were considered to be the weak spot of Michigan’s defense in 2017.

It’s possible that cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich could take over the entire secondary, and it’s also possible that Michigan promotes from within – Devin Bush, Sr. is a former NFL and Florida State player who was a big-time head coach in Florida. Otherwise, I have confidence that whoever Jim Harbaugh and Don Brown bring in will do a very good job with the players on the field. As a recruiter, Smith wasn’t talked about much by recruits, so perhaps the next guy will have a little more pull.

On a side note, Scott Turner is slated to become Michigan’s 10th assistant coach following the New Year, but he’s an offensive guy who will probably slide in as the wide receivers coach. It will be interesting to see whether it’s Turner or some other staffer who steps in for Smith on the recruiting trail for now, since non-coaches can’t recruit.

12 comments

  1. Comments: 963
    Joined: 1/19/2016
    je93
    Dec 08, 2017 at 7:48 PM

    Definitely want (and NEED) a relentless recruiter on the staff! If BushSr can get us some Florida talent, I’m all for it

  2. Comments: 1145
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Dec 08, 2017 at 8:06 PM

    I would be so happy if we could get Soup Campbell back coaching wide receivers. I believe he’s the best receiver coach in all of football. Maybe that’s biased, but he has a helluva track record when it comes to developing receivers.

    • Painter Smurf
      Comments: 253
      Joined: 8/12/2015
      Painter Smurf
      Dec 09, 2017 at 9:33 AM

      You are right, that is a biased take. Campbell has followed a consistent, downward trajectory since leaving UM and is at Delaware now. JH is focusing on stud assistants and hungry up and comers. Campbell does not fit the mold.

    • TriFloyd
      Comments: 30
      Joined: 8/11/2015
      TriFloyd
      Dec 10, 2017 at 9:26 PM

      i don’t understand the love for Soup.

      • Thunder
        Comments: 2614
        Joined: 7/13/2015
        Dec 10, 2017 at 9:48 PM

        Michigan’s receivers were excellent when he was here. Then they were very good when he was at Iowa. We’re talking about people like Marquise Walker, David Terrell, Braylon Edwards, Tai Streets, Amani Toomer, Mercury Hayes, Jason Avant, Steve Breaston, etc. Basically, every great receiver at Michigan aside from Anthony Carter was coached by Campbell. Michigan has only had one 1,000-yard receiver since he left (Jeremy Gallon in 2013). Maybe you can credit the coaches, the offensive line, the quarterbacks, etc., but the fact remains that Michigan had very solid receivers during his entire tenure for the Wolverines.

        It’s pretty easy to understand the love for Campbell.

        • Comments: 963
          Joined: 1/19/2016
          je93
          Dec 11, 2017 at 12:08 AM

          As long as our next WR coach can recruit, l’ll be good

  3. Painter Smurf
    Comments: 253
    Joined: 8/12/2015
    Painter Smurf
    Dec 09, 2017 at 9:50 AM

    I’m going to make a wild guess that Pep leaves for an OC or HC job, and Turner more or less fills his shoes as QB coach and pass game coordinator. This would fit with my wild theory that Greg Roman steps in as OC.

    • Comments: 963
      Joined: 1/19/2016
      je93
      Dec 09, 2017 at 11:37 AM

      But this goes against your first post. Roman isn’t a young & hungry up&comer… He’s yet another non-recruiting old dog

      • Painter Smurf
        Comments: 253
        Joined: 8/12/2015
        Painter Smurf
        Dec 10, 2017 at 1:35 AM

        Can’t compare Campbell to Roman. Roman is an NFL OC who runs harbaugh’s offense. He is the kind of guy jim has been tapping lately. Campbell is a WR coach who is in his 50’s and on a ten year career slide.

  4. Comments: 1145
    Joined: 8/13/2015
    Roanman
    Dec 10, 2017 at 7:38 AM

    Not sure about that “ten year career slide” thing since upon Rodriguez having screwed the pooch by firing him, he got grabbed by Iowa and coached all three of Iowa’s career reception leaders two of which are Iowa’s all time yardage receivers, all three of which were All Big one of which was an All American. He’s still be at iowa had not Iowa OC O’Keefe left Iowa and the guy they brought in from Texas decided it was Campbell ‘s real fast wide receivers don’t come to Iowa.

    As an aside, that guy is gone and O’Keefe is now back.

    Campbell took a spin at Michigan as harbaugh’s recruiting Director and assistant of football operations in 2015. If I remember correctly, 2016 was a real nice class for Michigan.

    He’s now coaching guys wearing maize … or something a lot like it … and blue, winged helmets at Delaware where he’s the “passing game coordinator. By all accounts, he’s a 24/7 football guy, particularly since he lost his wife, hunting an HC position. While he is not a “young gun”, he’s for damn sure a stud football coach.

    • Comments: 1145
      Joined: 8/13/2015
      Roanman
      Dec 10, 2017 at 7:40 AM

      Coffee first, coffee first, coffee first.

    • Thunder
      Comments: 2614
      Joined: 7/13/2015
      Dec 10, 2017 at 9:14 AM

      I agree. I don’t really think it’s been a career slide. He’s done well everywhere he has been. And not that it’s entirely Campbell, but UConn had its best season out of the last five when Campbell was there. They were 6-7 during his one season, and they were either 2-10 or 3-9 the other four years. On top of that, he’s only 51 years old, which isn’t ancient. He played at Michigan with Jim Harbaugh.

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