Leach going to NFL ranks for LB coach?

Posted Dec 13, 2011

MIKE LEACH HAS gone to the NFL for his latest assistant coach hire, according to a report. The new linebackers coach is a coaching intern with the New York Jets.

Mike Smith, 30, is heading to Pullman according Football Scoop, which did not attribute its sources.

Smith played for Leach at Texas Tech and was a four year starter and a two year team captain. he was then a seventh round 2005 draft pick by the Baltimore Ravens.

He played four seasons at linebacker before a shoulder injury ended his career. He was a graduate assistant at Hawaii for one season before taking the intern position with the Jets in 2010.

"He was one of the toughest linebackers I've ever coached," Leach said of Smith when his former linebacker was named to the Hawaii staff.

For more insight on Smith, click to this story from the New York Daily News..

Smith is the first defensive coach hire to surface. The previous offensive staff hires, though WSU has yet to officially confirm any new members of the staff, have been widely reported as: Jim Mastro from UCLA, running backs; Clay McGuire from East Carolina, offensive line; Eric Morris from Houston, inside receivers; Eric Russell from Tennessee, special teams; and Dennis Simmons from East Carolina; outside receivers.

Per the News Sentinel in Knoxville, Russell made $200,000 in 2010, $250,000 in 2011 and was set to make $275,000 in 2012.

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