Winning breeds attention, and it likewise typically brings a bevy of new opportunities for the assistant coaches on college staffs.
Lane Kiffin is experiencing it in heavy volume after Kiffin guided Ole Miss to a record-setting season atop the Rebels’ program.
Multiple sources tell FootballScoop that Miami is targeting and working to finalize the hiring of Ole Miss running backs coach Kevin Smith for the same position on Mario Cristobal’s initial Hurricanes staff. 247Sports also has reported on Smith's expected addition to the Miami staff.
Already, Kiffin has lost his offensive coordinator, Jeff Lebby, to Oklahoma and new coach Brent Venables, while defensive coordinator DJ Durkin just exited for Texas A&M. Additionally, Ole Miss just lost its general manager, Matt Lindsey, who departed college football to work for a sports agency.
A Miami native who starred at UCF before a five-year NFL career, Smith has rapidly climbed the collegiate coaching ranks. He joined the Florida Atlantic staff of Kiffin in 2017 as the Owls’ running backs coach, and Kiffin quickly brought Smith with him to Oxford, Mississippi, to run the Ole Miss backfield.
Cristobal has systematically worked to assemble his first Miami staff, with sources repeatedly telling FootballScoop that Cristobal has unprecedented resources from ‘The U’ at his disposal to assemble his staff and now some of the best funding for assistant coaches anywhere in college football.
Smith’s been among Kiffin’s strongest recruiters throughout Smith’s five years on Kiffin’s staffs, and he was running backs coach of an Ole Miss offense that a year ago during the 2020 season was among the best in the Southeastern Conference and college football.
Cristobal is still working to finalize deals with his top two assistant posts remaining open – offensive and defensive coordinators.