Rod Smith is on board

Rich Rodriguez has brought on another familiar face in Rod Smith. Read on to see his background and what he brings to Arizona.

Rich Rodriguez's staff is starting to take shape, as Rod Smith has left his job at Indiana University to become Quarterbacks coach and co-offensive coordinator at Arizona. He worked previously with Rodriguez at West Virginia and Michigan, and he's very familiar with his system and has a history of producing talented quarterbacks.

Smith, 38, has a relationship with Rodriguez that goes all the way back to his playing days at Glenville State. Rodriguez was the head coach of the Pioneers for all four of Smith's years at the school, including his senior season when he threw for over 3400 yards and 29 touchdowns on his way to All-American status.

After serving as a graduate assistant at Clemson and West Virginia, Smith's first job came as Quarterbacks coach at South Florida in 2001, where he also served as passing game coordinator. He was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2005, and in 2006 he guided Bulls' quarterback Matt Grothe to Big East Rookie of the Year honors.

He rejoined his former coach at West Virginia as Quarterbacks coach in 2007, and worked wonders on Mountaineers' quarterback Pat White. Under Smith, White threw for 1,424 yards, rushed for 1,335, and had 28 touchdowns combined through the air and on the ground.

While leading West Virginia to a Big East co-championship and a Fiesta Bowl victory, White was named MVP of the bowl, was a semi-finalist for the Davey O'Brien and Walter Camp Awards, and finished sixth in Heisman Trophy voting that season.

When Rodriguez left West Virginia for Michigan, he brought Smith with him to be his Quarterbacks coach. In Ann Arbor, Smith played a big role in the development of current Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson, perhaps the best dual-threat quarterback in the college game this season.

In 2010, Robinson led Michigan's offense to the top spot in the Big Ten by putting up a school-record 488.7 yards per game. The Wolverines had the nation's eighth ranked offense, and the 13th ranked rushing attack in the country.

In that same year, Robinson set an NCAA record with 1,702 yards rushing, was fourth in the nation with an average of 130.9 yards per game, and led Michigan with 14 rushing touchdown. He also threw for 2,570 yards and another 18 scores and became the first quarterback in NCAA history to rush and pass for 1,500 yards in a single season; a season that included Big Ten MVP honors, as well as first team All-American status.

After one season as Quarterbacks coach and Co-Offensive Coordinator at Indiana, Smith brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Arizona. If he can have the same type of success with Matt Scott that he did with White and Robinson, UA may be in for a big first season with Rodriguez at the helm.

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