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USU football: DeAndre Smith named running backs coach at Utah State

DeAndre Smith, who has 19 years of collegiate coaching experience, including two seasons as an offensive coordinator and 17 years as a running backs coach, has been named Utah State’s running backs coach, it was announced Wednesday by Aggie head coach Matt Wells.

Smith, who coached at New Mexico with Wells in 2008, replaces Mark Tommerdahl, who accepted a similar position at Purdue.

“DeAndre is an excellent addition to our football staff here at Utah State and fits well in a lot of areas with our staff,” said Wells. “He is a tremendous football coach and does a great job coaching running backs. DeAndre is an excellent recruiter and someone that will coach our kids hard with a lot of love. We welcome DeAndre, Lori, Ryan and Donovan to our Aggie football family.”

Prior to his appointment at Utah State, Smith spent the 2017 season at North Carolina and served as Purdue’s running backs coach in 2016.

“I am extremely honored and fortunate to have this opportunity to work with coach Wells and the rest of his staff,” said Smith. “I’m really excited about the opportunity of doing my part to help this program win a Mountain West Championship.”

Prior to his year in West Lafayette, Indiana, Smith spent three seasons as the running backs coach at Syracuse. The Orange gained 1,958 yards and scored 15 rushing touchdowns on 445 attempts in 2015. Syracuse averaged 4.4 yards per carry and 163.2 yards per game on the ground in 2015, with freshman Jordan Fredericks rushing for a team-high 607 yards and four touchdowns on 107 attempts.

Smith has previously coached running backs at New Mexico (2012, 2008), Illinois (2010-11), UNLV (2009), Miami (Ohio) (2005-07) and Northern Illinois (2001-04), which produced four straight all-conference running backs during his tenure. He also served as the assistant head coach with the RedHawks and as a special teams assistant with the Huskies. He began his coaching career as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Indiana State (1999-2000).

In 17 years of coaching, Smith has mentored four All-Americans and has had nine 1,000-yard rushers. Among the notable running backs to play for him are Mikel LeShoure at Illinois and Michael Turner and Garrett Wolfe at Northern Illinois. In 2010, LeShoure set Fighting Illini records for rushing yards (1,697), scoring (122 points) and touchdowns (20). He was a second-team All-American, a first-team all-Big Ten selection and went on to be a second-round selection by the Detroit Lions. Turner was a two-time second-team All-American for the Huskies (2002, 2003) after leading the Mid-American Conference in rushing, while Wolfe earned honorable mention All-America honors in 2004 after ranking fifth nationally in rushing (1,656 yards). Turner was a fifth-round selection by the San Diego Chargers and played eight years in the NFL. Wolfe was a third-round pick by the Chicago Bears.

A four-year letterwinner at quarterback for Southwest Missouri State, Smith was the 1990 Division I-AA Offensive Player of the Year, as well as an All-American. He was named the Gateway Conference Player of the Decade from 1985 to 1995.

Smith, who earned his bachelor's degree in organizational communication from SMS in 2002, played professionally for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (1992) and in France (1993).

A native of St. Louis, Smith and his wife, Lori, have two sons, Ryan and Donovan, and a daughter, Ashley. Ryan played wide receiver at Duke from 2013-16.

Doug Hoffman is the associate athletic director for Utah State University Athletic Media Relations.