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http://www.nflhs.com/news/coachesspotlight...7272005_jly.asp

Coaches Spotlight: Mike Smith, Jacksonville Jaguars

By John Raffel, NFLHS.com

Mike Smith's coaching career has brought him through the college ranks and all the way to the Super Bowl. But he doesn't hesitate to draw on his high school football days in his current position as the Jacksonville Jaguars' defensive coordinator.

Smith was named defensive coordinator for Jacksonville Jan. 21, 2003, and the following season guided the Jaguars defense to being the sixth-ranked defense in the NFL, second against the run and 18th against the pass.

He has nearly 23 years of coaching experience, starting in 1982 at San Diego State, continuing in 1986 at Morehead State in Kentucky and 1987 at Tennesse Tech. In 1999, he started a three-year pro career with the Baltimore Ravens. With the Ravens, who won the Super Bowl in 2000, Smith was defensive assistant/defensive line coach from 1999 to 2001 and linebackers coach in 2002.

Smith played his prep football at Father Lopez High School at Daytona Beach and was an all-state linebacker in 1975. He played college football at East Tennessee and played linebacker for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League in 1982 before starting his coaching career.

"I wanted to get into coaching at a young age through my high school coach, Sam Smith," Mike Smith said. "I was hanging around the other guys and I had a passion for it. The coaches allowed me to come to practices when I was younger, and I had a chance to see a lot from the coaching perspective."

Smith said his high school was small but had strong programs in all sports. "You learn something everyday at all levels," he said. "I think one thing that was consistent at the high school level was the need for commitment to have a successful team. That was first and foremost. There's not many teams at any level that are successful unless they get a commitment from the players. I learned that early on.

"It was a small school that played schools in higher enrollment classifications."

The commitment, Smith said, included having success in the classroom.

"As a high school player, if they have the ability to go to the next level to play college, they have to make sure they're academically eligible," Smith said. "The players learn they need to do better on their core classes and the right type of classes to be eligible for college football."

High school players with hopes of getting to the pro level need to be ready to make sacrifices, Smith said.

"They should always strive to improve," he said, adding that high school athletes today "tend to be bigger and stronger. But if they're a recruitable player, they're more scrutinized than they were 30 years ago. They have to prove themselves."

Mike Smith probably didn't figure while he was learning the high school game that he would one day be coaching in the NFL.

"I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach at highest level in the NFL," he said. "I feel very blessed to have had the opportunity to work with good coaches and some outstanding athletes. I've also had the chance to be in the Super Bowl. That's something that forces you to work hard. I'd love to have the opportunity to be involved in another world championship."

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This guy has coached for 22 years...was a key coach on the ravens when they won the superbowl...and since hes been in jacksonville the jaguars have been a force on defense

im really starting to turn over to this guy although i think all 5 top canidates are capible of turning this team around....anything is better than petrino the #####

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Xx_JoCkStRaP_xX (1/23/2008)
This guy has coached for 22 years...was a key coach on the ravens when they won the superbowl...and since hes been in jacksonville the jaguars have been a force on defense

im really starting to turn over to this guy although i think all 5 top canidates are capible of turning this team around....anything is better than petrino the #####

lol yup he's definitely better than sucktrino. i will stick to the nfl network today and see if i get anymore news for you guys. if schefter says we're getting him then its official.

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