Bielema Hires Michael Smith from Kansas State as Wide Receivers Coach

Bret Bielema has named Michael Smith as wide receivers coach, completing his staff.

“During my two seasons at Kansas State, I learned that Michael Smith is one of the masters of the fundamentals of the game,” Coach Bielema said. “As a player, he was part of building the foundation at Kansas State and as a coach he played an instrumental part in one of the greatest turnarounds for a program in the history of college football. He has a proven track record of leading his student-athletes to reach their full potential. He is also a tremendous recruiter who has very strong ties in his hometown of New Orleans. When I came to Arkansas, I said I wanted to assemble a staff second to none. The administration has shown tremendous support of that goal and Michael Smith completes the group in exciting fashion. Our staff is made up of individuals who have earned respect within the profession and should generate excitement for our program.”

Smith’s bio, from Kansas State University is below.

After a K-State playing career that ended with him as the Big Eight’s second-leading all-time receiver and third-best in career receiving yards, Smith spent the first 11 years of his coaching career at Kansas State, nine of them as running backs’ coach. 2006 found him at Rice coaching running backs and from there he moved to the Arizona staff to coach running backs (2007) and inside receivers (2008).

Personal: After leaving school, Smith joined the Kansas City Chiefs for the 1992 season, returned to K-State as a student assistant in ’93 and ’94, received his degree in social science in 1995, and became a graduate assistant for the next two seasons assisting Greg Peterson with the receivers. Michael has two daughters, Kylie and Kenzie.

Full bio:

Former Wildcat wide receiver and assistant coach Michael Smith returns for hisfourth season back at Kansas State as the wide receivers coach under head coach Bill Snyder returned to the sidelines in 2009.

Smith, who was named one of the top 10 recruiters in the Big 12 Conference this past season by Rivals, spent the first 11 years of his coaching career at Kansas State and was the running backs coach at Rice in 2006 before moving to Arizona for the 2007 (running backs) and 2008 (inside receivers) seasons.

Last season, true freshman Tyler Lockett earned All-America honors as a kick returner and made an immediate impact at the wide receiver position. Chris Harper will enter the 2012 season as an All-Big 12 candidate after a solid junior season as the team’s top pass catcher.

In 2010, Smith tutored a wide receiver group that saw numerous players step up and contribute throughout a season that saw several injuries at the position. Aubrey Quarles provided the most consistency throughout 2010 en route to All-Big 12 honors, while newcomers Tramaine Thompson, Brodrick Smith and Chris Harper all proved they had playmaking abilities.

In 2009, K-State was led by All-American Brandon Banks, who set school and Big 12 records in kickoff returns as well as leading the squad in receptions in 2009. Banks led the Big 12 and was eighth nationally with his 174.8 all-purpose yards per game average and ranks third in school history with 3,828 career all-purpose yards. At wide receiver, Banks also led the team in receptions (56) and receiving yards (705) this past season while he also ranks seventh in K-State history with 123 career receptions and ninth in career receiving yards with 1,754.

Smith helped lead Arizona to a 2008 Las Vegas Bowl win over BYU while he tutored Mike Thomas, who became the Pac-10 career receptions record holder with 259 grabs. In 2007, Smith coached true freshman tailback Nic Grigsby to a 700-yard performance in seven starts, emerging from reserve to fulltime duty.

At Rice, Smith helped the Owls to a 7-6 record in 2006, advancing to their first bowl game in 45 seasons and coached senior Quinton Smith to 1,096 yards in 2006, only the sixth Owls’ running back in history to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.

The 1995 Kansas State graduate has coached the top three career rushing leaders in K-State history in Darren Sproles, Eric Hickson and Mike Lawrence.

Smith also directed a running back to the single-season rushing record in three of his last five seasons at K-State during his first tenure, including Sproles, a first team All-American. Sproles surpassed the mark during the 2003 season with 1,986 yards, which ranked as the 10th best rushing total in NCAA history. At the conclusion of the 2003 regular season, Sproles finished fifth in Heisman Trophy voting and was the runner-up for the Doak Walker Award.

A second team All-Big 12 pick in 2002, Sproles rushed for 1,465 yards and 17 touchdowns. Sproles concluded his four-year career as the Big 12’s leader in all-purpose yards with 6,812 and the Wildcats’ career rushing leader with 4,979 yards. In 2001, Josh Scobey set the single-season rushing record and career rushing TD mark at Kansas State with 1,263 yards and 31 career TDs.

After spending the 1992 season in the NFL with Kansas City, Smith returned to K-State as a student assistant. As a graduate assistant in 1995 and 1996, Smith assisted Greg Peterson with the receivers and helped tutor wideouts Kevin Lockett and Mitch Running, who became just the fifth receiving tandem in Big Eight history to snag at least 50 passes in the same season. In nine seasons as running backs coach, Smith coached seven former backs in the NFL, including David Allen (Jacksonville and St. Louis), Rock Cartwright (Washington), Thomas Clayton (New England), Joe Hall (Kansas City), Frank Murphy (Chicago, Tampa Bay, Houston and Miami), Scobey (Arizona) and Sproles (San Diego).

During his playing career, Smith was known as one the Big Eight’s all-time great receivers. He concluded his playing career as the Big Eight’s second-leading receiver with 179 receptions, trailing just All-American Hart Lee Dykes. The total of 179 catches ranked 40th in NCAA history at the time.

Smith was named third team All-American in 1991, honorable mention All-American in 1989 and a two-time All-Big Eight selection (1989 and 1991).

His career total of 2,457 receiving yards was third-best in Big Eight history behind Dykes and 1972 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers. The total was bolstered by nine 100-yard receiving games, which was a school record at the time. Smith also posted three of the top four games in K-State history with 179 yards vs. New Mexico (1990), 174 yards vs. Washington (1991) and 172 vs. Nebraska (1991). Smith also owned three of the top five reception games in school history. He led the Big Eight as a sophomore in 1989 and was seventh in the nation with 70 catches for 816 yards. In 1990, he had 46 receptions for 796 yards and tallied 55 for 768 in 1991.

Smith is married to the former Karyn Tieken. Smith has four children: Kylie, Kenzie, Kason and Kamryn.