John L. Smith fired after winless season at Division II Kentucky State

Published: Tuesday, December 4, 2018
New Arkansas head coach John L. Smith speaks to reporters after being introduced at an NCAA college football news conference in Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday, April 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)
Photo by Associated Press
New Arkansas head coach John L. Smith speaks to reporters after being introduced at an NCAA college football news conference in Fayetteville, Ark., Tuesday, April 24, 2012. (AP Photo/Gareth Patterson)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky State has fired veteran football coach John L. Smith and replaced him with defensive coordinator Kevin Weston on an interim basis.

The school added in a news release Tuesday that it will seek to "take the program to new heights."

Smith, 70, who previously coached Division I programs at Louisville, Michigan State and Arkansas, was 7-25 in three seasons with the Division II Thorobreds. KSU was 0-10 this past season.

He went 4-7 in 2016 and won the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference West division title before KSU lost the conference championship to Fort Valley State in overtime. Smith was named SIAC Coach of the Year.

KSU athletic director Etienne M. Thomas thanked Smith for his "time, talents and dedication" to the program and wished him well.

Since going 4-8 in one season as Arkansas' interim head coach in 2012, Smith has a record of 21-44 in six seasons. He coached Division II Fort Lewis (Colo.) College from 2013-15.

Smith has a career record of 157-137 in 25 seasons at seven programs. He was hired as head coach at his alma mater Weber State in 2011 but never coached a game there before returning to Arkansas, where he was an assistant coach from 2009-11.

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