LEXINGTON, Ky. --- University of Kentucky assistant coach Rick Smith has resigned to accept the defensive coordinator's role at Georgia Tech, Coach Guy Morriss announced Friday. Smith was serving as assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator, and defensive backs coach for the Wildcats.
"I appreciate everything coach Smith has done for us during the past year and I wish him good luck in his new role," Morriss said. "Coach Goodner (defensive coordinator John Goodner) will take over the recruiting coordinator's duties until signing day (Feb. 6).
"Rick is staying with us through the weekend in order to help us with the transition and I appreciate that as well. Fortunately, we have been recruiting as a staff, so the transition should be smooth. We have begun the search for another coach to complete the staff."
Smith will be returning to the defensive coordinator's role that he held for five years Kentucky 1996, Tulane 1997-98, and Cincinnati 1999-2000 before his return to UK a year ago.
"I didn't realize how much I'd miss being the defensive coordinator," Smith said. "When the opportunity came up, I wanted to do it again. This is a great opportunity and challenge. Coach (Chan) Gailey has a great reputation as a coach and a human being, the same type of man as Guy Morriss. I'm honored that he would choose me.
"I leave Kentucky with a heavy heart that I won't be finishing the job with Coach Morriss. I love UK, the city of Lexington, and the positive reception we've gotten from fans."
Smith will be in his third tour of duty at Georgia Tech. He coached the Tech junior varsity in 1977 and was the defensive backs coach there from 1982-85.