July 7, 2010
CONWAY - Jamel Smith, a Columbia native and All-America honoree at Virginia Tech, has been named defensive line coach at Coastal Carolina University, Chanticleer head football coach David Bennett announced today.
Smith spent the last two seasons at Virginia Tech as a graduate assistant coach. In 2008, the Hokies went 10-4 and played in the Orange Bowl, while going 10-3 in 2009 and earning a Chick-fil-A Bowl berth. He worked with the defensive line, helping the unit rank 12th nationally in total defense and ninth in scoring defense in 2009, while ranking seventh in total defense in 2008.
"Before we hired Jamel, I spoke with (Virginia Tech head coach) Frank Beamer, (Va. Tech defensive coordinator) Bud Foster and (Va. Tech defensive line coach) Charley Wiles," Bennett said. "All three could not say enough about his work ethic, character and his love for the college kids. Also, his former high school coach Jimmy Noonan raved about Jamel. We interviewed nine guys over 10 days, but Jamel really stood out and meshed great with our staff. We are all very excited about Jamel joining our family. In addition to his knowledge of the game, he is well known in South Carolina and he has great ties in Virginia as well to assist in our recruiting efforts."
Smith was a four-year letterman and a three-year starter for Virginia Tech from 1996-99. He finished his career with 301 tackles with 27 tackles for losses, including six sacks. Smith was voted second team All-America by the Associated Press in 1999 and first team All-Big East Conference. He was a semifinalist for the Dick Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top linebacker, as he led the Hokies with 89 tackles (52 solos) as a senior with eight TFL and one sack. He also led Tech in tackles as a junior with 99 stops.
After his successful career at Virginia Tech, Smith signed as a free agent with the New England Patriots. He then played three years for the Rhein Fire in NFL Europe. From 2003-2006, Smith coached at his high school alma mater, Spring Valley, before following coach Noonan to Wilson Hall HS in Sumter for the 2007 season.
Prior to going to Virginia Tech, Smith helped Columbia's Spring Valley HS to an 11-2 record and Region 4-AAAA title as a senior. In turn, he was named to first team Class AAAA All-State at linebacker and started at inside linebacker for the South Carolina team in the Shrine Bowl game with North Carolina.
He received his B.S. in sociology at Virginia Tech in 2004 and his MSED in Health & Physical Education, Liberal Arts & Human Sciences from Virginia Tech in spring of 2010.