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Potential USF Football Coaching Candidates: John L. Smith


Arkansas Razorback Coach John L. Smith Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

In every coaching search, there’s always somebody suggesting ridiculous candidates for the job. Instead of waiting for those wack ideas to come to us, we’re being proactive and bringing our wack ideas to you.

John L. Smith (current job: head coach, Kentucky State University)

Surely you remember when John L. Smith was named 2003’s Big Ten Coach of the Year, but did you know he’s also the 2016 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, and a member of the prestigious Idaho Athletics Hall of Fame?

I’ll update you on what Smith has been doing since you may have last seen him at the FBS level in 2012. In just three years, he took the Fort Lewis Skyhawks from a dismal 0-10 season to respectable 7-4 last year. And now he’s working miracles at Kentucky State, guiding the Broncos to their first conference championship game ever.

With stints at Idaho, Utah State, Louisville, Michigan State, Arkansas, Weber State, Arkansas again, Fort Lewis, and Kentucky State, this man is not afraid to make the jump from any league to literally any other league. He probably coached high school too, and just didn’t tell anyone about it.

Smith would be easy to get with USF money. At Idaho, his first multi-year coaching contract had a base salary of $58,014. Imagine the savings!

Think he has no ties to the area? Smith just turned 68. He should have moved to Florida years ago.

Can this guy recruit? It doesn’t matter. “I’m a big believer that you’re only as good as your seniors,” Smith said when he took over at Kentucky State. And he’ll have some serious senior talent to work with thanks to Taggart. Don’t we need incoming freshmen, you say? By the time whoever those guys become seniors, Smith will have moved back to broadcasting anyway. Did I tell you that? He spent two years away from coaching to lend his talents to the broadcasting world. A true renaissance man.

Does Smith fit the offense? Hell yes. He learned the spread offense at Idaho from Dennis Erickson, who learned it from John Elway’s dad, who learned it from John Elway’s high school football coach. So there.

Personally I can’t wait to see him at press conferences. The days of slapping himself in the face are well behind him, I’m sure, but what reporter doesn’t need to be reminded to smile now and then? I know I do. Smith wouldn’t just be a football coach, but a life coach for all of us.