Northwestern assistant reportedly leaves for same job with NFL team
Northwestern is losing an assistant to the NFL, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reported.
Fowler reported that cornerbacks coach Ryan Smith is leaving for the Arizona Cardinals. Smith was at Northwestern for one season after he previously coached at Virginia Tech, James Madison, Elon and was a graduate assistant at Penn State, according to his Northwestern bio.
He’s a 2014 graduate of the College of William & Mary, and helped the Tribe to a 2009 FCS semifinals appearance.
Smith at Virginia Tech was a similar role and also served as the program’s defensive pass game coordinator for the 2021 season.
He’s considered a rising star in the industry, and was one of 2 coaches from the ACC to be named to 247Sports’ 2020 College Football Rising Stars list. During his time in Blacksburg, he mentored 2021 Tennessee Titans first round draft pick Caleb Farley, while Dorian Strong was recognized on 247Sports’ True Freshman All-America Team under his tutelage in 2020. Smith worked with cornerback Jermaine Waller to an All-ACC second team selection last season after Waller finished the regular season with a league-best four interceptions to go along with 45 tackles, 2.0 TFL, and five pass breakups in 11 games played.