Auburn, Ala. – Melvin Smith, who has 18-years of experience coaching in the Southeastern Conference, has been named cornerbacks coach at Auburn, head coach Gus Malzahn announced Tuesday. Smith spent the previous seven seasons coaching cornerbacks and secondary at Mississippi State.
“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 MSU since 2007 after coaching 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.
Courtesy: Auburn Media Relations