Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A double graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Smith hired to complete Arkansas staff
Wide receivers coach Michael Smith talks with Kansas State quarterback Grant Gregory on the sideline during a 2009 game against Colorado.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas has named Michael Smith its new wide receivers coach.
Smith, 42, has spent the last four seasons as a receivers coach at his alma mater Kansas State. He replaces George McDonald at Arkansas after he resigned earlier this week to accept an offensive coordinator position at Syracuse.
Michael Smith spent 15 seasons combined as a Kansas State assistant
He was a record-setting receiver for the Wildcats
Replaces George McDonald, who resigned earlier this week
In 2012, Smith was named one of the top 10 recruiters in the Big 12 Conference by Rivals.com. He is considered to have strong recruiting ties in the state of Texas.
Last May, Kansas State self-reported a secondary violation of NCAA rules related to phone calls made by Smith, according to The Wichita Eagle, and his off-campus recruiting was restricted for a time as a result.
Smith spent two stints as a coach at Kansas State, including 11 seasons with the Wildcats before leaving after the 2005 season. After stops at Rice and Arizona, he returned to Kansas State's staff in 2009 after Bill Snyder was rehired as the program's head coach.
As a player for Snyder, Smith was one of the top receivers in the Big Eight Conference. He ranked second in conference history in career receptions (179) and third in career receiving yards (2,457). He played briefly for the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL.
The hire completes Bret Bielema's first coaching staff at Arkansas. Smith joins coordinator Jim Chaney, running backs coach Joel Thomas, line coach Sam Pittman and tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr. on the offensive side of the ball.
Bielema's defensive hires include coordinator Chris Ash, line coach Charlie Partridge, linebackers coach Randy Shannon and cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson, the only holder from the Razorbacks' staff in 2012.