Michael Smith Rounds Out Football Staff

MANHATTAN, Kan. Kansas State head football coach Bill Snyder has announced that former Wildcat wide receiver and assistant coach Michael Smith will return to the staff to tutor the K-State wide receivers.

Smith, who spent the first 11 years of his coaching career at Kansas State, was the running backs coach at Rice in 2006 before moving to Arizona for the 2007 (running backs) and 2008 (inside receivers) seasons.

At Rice, he helped the Owls to a 7-6 record, 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.

Smith helped lead the Arizona Wildcats to a 2008 Las Vegas Bowl win over BYU and also coached true freshman tailback Nic Grigsby to a 700-yard performance in seven starts in 2007, emerging from reserve to fulltime duty.

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, given to the nation’s top running back.

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 K-State with 1,263 yards and 31 career TDs.

After spending the 1992 season in the NFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, Smith returned to K-State as a student assistant. As a graduate assistant in 1995 and 1996, Smith assisted Greg Peterson with the receivers. During this time, Smith 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 four former backs in the National Football League, including Rock Cartwright (Washington), Joe Hall (Kansas City), Scobey (Arizona) and Sproles (San Diego).    

During his playing career, Smith was known as one the Big Eight Conference’s all-time great receivers. He concluded his playing career as the Big Eight’s second-leading receiver with 179 receptions, trailing just Oklahoma State 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 by The Associated Press in 1991 and honorable mention All-American in 1989 by the AP and UPI. Smith was also 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, including 13 catches for 166 yards vs. Missouri in 1989. 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 in 1990 and tallied 55 for 768 in 1991.

Smith, who earned his Kansas State degree in social science, has two daughters, Kylie and Kenzie.