MIAMI (March 1, 2005) -- Nick Saban completed his initial staff with the Miami Dolphins, hiring Detroit Lions assistant Richard Smith as defensive coordinator.
The 49-year-old Smith is a 17-year NFL coaching veteran and spent the past two seasons as the assistant head coach and linebackers coach with the Lions.
"He is one of the most respected coaches in the league, who possesses a wealth of knowledge and experience," Saban said. "I coached with him in Houston in 1988 and 1989, and I've always thought he was one of the best coaches I've had the chance to work with."
Before joining the Lions, Smith spent six seasons as linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers, where he tutored four Pro Bowlers: Julian Peterson in 2002, Winfred Tubbs in 1998 and Ken Norton, Jr. and Lee Woodall in 1997.
Smith also coached with the Denver Broncos (1993-96) and Oilers (1988-92). A Fresno State alumnus, he also coached collegiately at Arizona, California, Cal State-Fullerton and Rio Hondo (Calif.) Junior College.