JSU football: Gamecocks name former Rich Rod assistant as new offensive coordinator

·2 min read

Jun. 12—Jacksonville State announced today it has hired a former Rich Rodriguez assistant coach to join the Gamecocks' football staff as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

Rod Smith played quarterback for Rodriguez, the new JSU head coach, at Glenville State (1993-96). He was quarterbacks coach for Rodriguez at West Virginia (2007) and Michigan (2008-10). He was co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Rodriguez at Arizona during 2012-17. Smith, who has coached since 1997, was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Illinois during 2018-20.

Smith also was acting head coach in Illinois' final game in 2020 after Lovie Smith had been fired. The Illini lost 56-21 to Penn State.

Smith served as an analyst at Virginia in 2021 and most recently was an analyst at Penn State.

Smith joins the staff after the tragic May 20 death of popular JSU offensive coordinator Calvin Magee, who managed to make plenty of friends on campus even though he was with the Gamecocks for only five months.

When Smith was with Rodriguez at Arizona, the Wildcats averaged 41 points a game in 2017, which ranked fifth nationally. They also averaged 489 total yards, which was 12th nationally.

During his coaching career, he was:

—Franklin High (W.Va.) as offensive coordinator in 1997

—Urbana (Ohio) University offensive coordinator in 1998-99

—West Virginia Tech offensive coordinator in 2000

—Clemson graduate assistant in 2001

—West Virginia graduate assistant in 2001

—South Florida quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator in 2001-04

—South Florida quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator in 2005-06

—West Virginia quarterbacks coach in 2007

—Michigan quarterbacks coach in 2008-10

—Illinois co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2011

—Arizona co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2012-17

—Illinois offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in 2018-20

—Virginia analyst in 2021

—Penn State analyst in 2021

—Jacksonville State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2022-current

Senior Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.