Veteran DB coach added to staff

University of Alabama football coach Dennis Franchione announced today that Melvin Smith with be the Tide's new safeties coach, replacing Ron Case who will retire at the end of February.

"We are excited about the addition of Melvin to our coaching staff," Franchione said. "He will be a great asset to our staff not only as a coach, but as a person as well."

Smith is expected to be on campus Tuesday.

"To me, it is a great professional move," Smith said. "I look forward to working with a really outstanding coordinator in Carl Torbush and to be a part of what coach Franchione is doing. I've studied coach Franchione since he was at Southwest Texas State and I am honored to be a part of his program."

THE SMITH FAMILY: (front, l to r) Melvin and Ashlee; (back, l to r) Sheilah and Melvin. (not pictured: daughter Deondra and son Robert)

Smith joins the Tide after seven years as wide receivers and defensive backs coach at Mississippi State. He coached the Bulldogs' wide receivers in 1995 and the defensive backs from 1996-01.

Prior to joining the Bulldogs, Smith coached tight ends and wide receivers at Ole Miss from 1992-94. He spent two seasons (1990-91) at Delta State and began his coaching career at Greenwood (Mississippi) High School in 1982.

Smith is a 1982 graduate of Millsaps and earned his Master's Degree from Delta State in 1992.

As a member of the U.S. Army Reserve's 173rd Quartermaster Company, Sgt. Smith was called to duty in October, 1990 and then served more than six months in Saudi Arabia during the Persian Gulf War.

He is married to the former Sheilah McLemore and the couple has two daughters, Deondra and Ashelee and two sons, Robert and Melvin. Smith was born February 1, 1958, and is a native of Magee, Mississippi.

Coaching history

  • 1982-89: Coach, Greenwood [MS] HS
  • 1990: Defensive Backs Coach, Delta State University
  • 1991: Defensive Coordinator, Delta State University
  • 1992-93: Tight Ends Coach, University of Mississippi
  • 1994: Wide Receivers Coach, University of Mississippi
  • 1995: Wide Receivers Coach, Mississippi State University
  • 1996-2001: Defensive Backs Coach, Mississippi State University
  • 2002-present: Safeties, University of Alabama

Playing history

  • Played two seasons (1980-81) at Millsaps College
  • Named team's most outstanding lineman as a split end

Smith's 2001 MSU press guide bio:

Mississippi State defensive backfield coach Melvin Smith continues to annually produce outstanding secondary performers for the Bulldogs, a trend that does not appear to be ending any time soon.

Now in his sixth season since moving back to the defensive side of the ball, and seventh year at MSU overall, Smith's work with the Bulldog defensive backfield has resulted in stellar play as a group and national plaudits for his pupils.

In 2000, cornerback Fred Smoot was selected in the second round by the Washington Redskins in the National Football League draft following an all-America senior season at State, and two other graduated seniors signed professional football contracts. Smoot and his mates intercepted 19 passes last fall, the second-most in school history.

One year earlier, his secondary led the Southeastern Conference in pass defense and finished the season ranked fourth nationally in that department.

Smith's troops accounted for 14 of the squad's 16 interceptions in 1998 and were the last NCAA Division I unit to allow a touchdown score through the air (Auburn, Week 5).

The Bulldogs' receivers coach in 1995, Smith was moved to the secondary in 1996 under coordinator Joe Lee Dunn. It was a reunion of sorts, since Smith had previously spent two seasons as a fellow coach with Dunn at the University of Mississippi.

In 1995, Smith coached Eric Moulds, who established MSU records for career touchdown receptions and single-game catches, and was a No. 1 draft pick of the Buffalo Bills.

Smith came to MSU from the University of Mississippi, where he served as both tight ends and then wide receivers coach during a three-year tenure. Smith has played or coached in Mississippi for more than 20 years, 13 on the collegiate level.

With that background, he has developed the reputation as one of the top recruiters in Mississippi. Immediately prior to joining the Rebel staff, Smith served two years as an assistant coach at Delta (Miss.) State University.


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