Veteran SEC Coach Melvin Smith Joins AU Staff
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Veteran SEC Coach Melvin Smith Joins AU Staff

Auburn announced the hiring of cornerback coach Melvin Smith on Tuesday, joining Gus Malzahn's Auburn football staff.

Auburn, Ala.--Coach Gus Malzahn continued his run of hiring experienced coaches on the defensive side of the ball as on Christmas day he announced 18-year SEC veteran Melvin Smith will be coaching cornerbacks for the Tigers.

"Melvin is an outstanding secondary coach and is one of the top recruiters in the Southeastern Conference," Malzahn said. "He has a reputation for his ability to develop players and his 31-year coaching resume speaks for itself. We're excited to have Melvin join our staff."

Smith, who coached cornerbacks for Mississippi State since 2007 after working with the entire secondary in 2006, mentored Jonathan Banks, who won the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award which is presented annually to the nation's top defensive back. Banks was also a Walter Camp All-American and a first-team All-SEC selection.

This past season Smith helped a Bulldogs' defense that had 30 takeaways, which led the SEC and was 12th nationally. Darius Slay, a second-team All-SEC pick, tied for the league lead in interceptions with five while Banks was tied for third in the league with four.

"I'm really looking forward to this opportunity to work for Coach Malzahn and Auburn," Smith said. "I've admired Gus' work from afar and have always loved his offenses. When we discussed this job, Gus told me that he was looking for men of character and integrity who were excellent coaches.

"When I saw who he hired to his staff and having worked previously with Ellis (Johnson), Charlie (Harbison) and J.B. (Grimes), I knew that's exactly that was the type of men he was hiring. This is a tremendous opportunity for me and my family."

In 2009 Smith guided a young group, yet the Bulldog secondary led the SEC with 17 interceptions. Led by then-freshman Corey Broomfield's six picks, the corners improved as the season progressed. For his efforts Broomfield was named Freshman All-Southeastern Conference.

In 2011, Smith continued to tutor Broomfield and Banks, who developed into an All-SEC performer and was named a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Smith went to work at Mississippi State in 2006 after spending time at both Alabama and Texas A&M. In just his second season back at MSU, Smith helped the Bulldogs' pass defense rank fourth in the SEC, allowing just 182.2 yards per game, sixth in pass efficiency defense (114.8). The Bulldogs improved their interception total from 12 to 15.

A native of Taylorsville, Miss., who grew up in Magee, Miss., Smith is a 31-year coaching veteran who came back to Mississippi State following three seasons at Texas A&M, where he coached the safeties. During his tenure in College Station, Tex., Smith helped the Aggies to a 7-4 regular season record in 2004 and a berth in the 2005 Cotton Bowl.

Prior to his stint at A&M and immediately following his seven years at MSU, Smith coached the safeties at Alabama in 2002, where the Crimson Tide team posted a 10-3 regular season record. In 2000 three of his four defensive backfield starters signed professional football contracts. That secondary intercepted 19 passes, the second-most in school history. Smith has also coached on the collegiate level in Mississippi at Ole Miss (1992-94) and Delta State (1990-91). He began his coaching career on the high school level at Greenwood (Miss.) from 1982-89.

Coaching Experience

2007-12: Mississippi State (Cornerbacks)

2006: Mississippi State (Secondary)

2003-05: Texas A&M (Safeties)

2002: Alabama (Safeties)

1996-2001: Mississippi State (Defensive Backs)

1995: Mississippi State (Wide Receivers)

1992-94: Ole Miss (Tight Ends / Wide Receivers)

1991: Delta State (Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers)

1990: Delta State University (Defensive Backs)

1982-89: Greenwood (Miss.) HS