Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio today named Mike Smith as defensive coordinator. He succeeds John Pease, who served as the defensive coordinator in 2002.
Smith, 43, was the linebackers coach of the Baltimore Ravens in 2002, in that position he replaced Del Rio, who held the position for the previous three years. Smith played linebacker with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL and at East Tennessee. He's had experience in one form or another with almost every position on defense and special teams.
Last season, second-year player LB Edgerton Hartwell led the Ravens in tackles with 191 in his first season in a starting role. Pro Bowl LB Peter Boulware finished third in tackles with 87 and finished with a team-high seven sacks. All-Pro MLB Ray Lewis, who missed most of the season due to injury, finished fifth in tackles and broke his streak of six consecutive seasons leading the team in tackles.
Prior to 2001, Smith was the Ravens' defensive assistant/defensive line coach, who was familiar with all aspects of the defensive game plan, and assisted with special teams. Smith was responsible for the preparation of playbooks, scouting reports and statistical analysis of opponents tendencies. In addition, his duties included self-scouting, defensive play-calling and preparation of scouting reports.
In 2000, the Ravens' championship defense set NFL 16-game records for fewest points allowed (165) and fewest rushing yards allowed (970).
Smith joined the Ravens in 1999 after coaching 12 years at Tennessee Tech, the last three as the Golden Eagles' defensive coordinator and linebackers coach. Mike signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL in 1982 as a linebacker. He served as a part-time assistant coach at San Diego State University in 1982, and then spent the next three seasons (1983-85) coaching the Aztecs' linebackers. At San Diego State he worked with current Ravens head coach Brian Billick.
In 1986, Smith served as defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at Morehead (KY) State. Following that season, Smith joined the Tennessee Tech staff as defensive line coach. Smith also served as special teams coordinator from 1988-95. He tutored the line for nine seasons before being promoted to defensive coordinator and linebackers coach in 1996. As defensive coordinator, he led a Golden Eagle defense which finished in the top 10 nationally in 1997 and 1998. Also in 1998, Smith was named the defensive coordinator/assistant head coach for Tennessee Tech.
Smith was named defensive MVP twice as a linebacker at East Tennessee. As a senior, he led the team with 186 tackles. He was a standout athlete at Father Lopez High School in Daytona Beach, FL, and earned all-state honors as a linebacker in 1975. Mike and his wife, Julie, have a daughter, Logan and live in Eldersburg, MD.
BACKGROUND: Pro career: Linebacker, Winnepeg Blue Bombers 1982. College: San Diego State University 1982-85, Morehead State 1986, Tennessee Tech 1987-98. Pro coach: Baltimore Ravens 1999-2002, Jacksonville Jaguars 2003 (defensive coordinator).