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Arthur Smith (American football, born 1982)

Arthur Smith
refer to caption
Smith as Atlanta Falcons head coach, 2021
Pittsburgh Steelers
Position:Offensive coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1982-05-27) May 27, 1982 (age 41)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Career information
High school:Georgetown Prep
(North Bethesda, Maryland)
College:North Carolina (2001–2005)
Career history
As a coach:
Head coaching record
Regular season:21–30 (.412)
Coaching stats at PFR

Arthur William Smith (born May 27, 1982) is an American football coach who is the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2021 to 2023 and as an assistant coach for the Tennessee Titans during the 2010s.

Early years and playing career

Smith was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on May 27, 1982. His father is the FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith.[1]

Smith attended Georgetown Preparatory School in North Bethesda, Maryland, where he played on the offensive line and was team captain. He also saw some action at defensive tackle. Smith also participated in track, lacrosse, and basketball. In his high school career, Smith was a first-team all-state selection at offensive line, two-time all-conference, and first-team All-Metro by The Washington Post.[2]

Smith was a guard for North Carolina from 2001 to 2005. He was a redshirt freshman in 2001. Smith only played in a single game for the 2002 season as he was diagnosed with a foot problem and did not play the remainder of the season. Smith had foot surgery in January 2003 and missed the entire 2003 season. Smith saw little action in 2004 and in 2005. After graduating in 2006, Smith became a graduate assistant for North Carolina.[2]

Coaching career

Early career

Smith began his NFL coaching career in 2007, when he became the defensive quality control coach for the Washington Redskins. His father, FedEx founder Frederick W. Smith, was a minority owner of the team. Smith would stay at that position through 2008.[3] In 2010, Smith was hired as a defensive intern and administrative assistant for Ole Miss.

Tennessee Titans

Smith with the Tennessee Titans in 2019

Smith was hired to become the defensive quality control coach for the Tennessee Titans in 2011 under new head coach Mike Munchak. Smith then became the offensive quality coach for the 2012 season. He was promoted to the assistant offensive line and assistant tight ends coach in 2013. Munchak was fired after the 2013 season and new head coach Ken Whisenhunt retained Smith as the assistant tight ends coach. Mid-way through the 2015 season, Whisenhunt was fired and replaced by tight ends coach Mike Mularkey. Mularkey was kept as head coach for the 2016 season and so was Smith as the new tight ends coach. When Mularkey was fired after the 2017 season, new head coach Mike Vrabel kept Smith as the tight ends coach for 2018.[4]

On January 21, 2019, Smith was promoted to offensive coordinator, replacing Matt LaFleur, who departed to become head coach of the Green Bay Packers two weeks prior.[5][6] In his first year as offensive coordinator, Smith oversaw the highest-scoring Titans team in 16 years, with Derrick Henry, Ryan Tannehill, and Jonnu Smith having career years. Smith was praised for his play-calling in the Titans' 28-12 win over the top-seeded Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round.[7][8]

Atlanta Falcons

On January 15, 2021, Smith was hired to become the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.[9]

2021 season

On September 12, 2021, Smith lost in his head coaching debut against the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 32–6. On September 26, 2021, Smith received his first career win as a head coach in a 17–14 victory over the New York Giants. On January 9, 2022, Smith and the Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints in the final game of the season by a score of 30–20, ending the season with a 7–10 record. The Falcons finished 3rd in the NFC South and did not qualify for the playoffs.

2022 season

In his second season, Smith led the Falcons to a 7–10 record. The team finished 4th in the NFC South and the Falcons did not qualify for the playoffs.

2023 season

Arthur Smith was widely criticized by various media outlets throughout the season for failing to utilize highly drafted players such as tight end Kyle Pitts, wide receiver Drake London, and running back Bijan Robinson. The Falcons finished the 2023 season with their third consecutive 7–10 record under Smith.[10] This also extended the Falcons streak of missing the playoffs to six straight seasons. On January 8, 2024, the Falcons fired him.[11][12]

Pittsburgh Steelers

On February 2, 2024, the Pittsburgh Steelers named Arthur Smith as their new offensive coordinator.[13]

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
ATL 2021 7 10 0 .412 3rd in NFC South
ATL 2022 7 10 0 .412 4th in NFC South
ATL 2023 7 10 0 .412 3rd in NFC South
Total 21 30 0 .412 0 0 .000

Personal life

Smith and his wife, Allison, reside in Atlanta, Georgia, with their three children, Tanner, Sophie, and William.[14][15] Smith's father is FedEx founder and former CEO Frederick W. Smith.[1][16] He has nine siblings, including sisters Windland Smith Rice and Molly Smith.

References

  1. ^ a b Birkett, Dave (December 20, 2020). "Detroit Lions will get up-close look at Titans OC Arthur Smith, a hot head coach candidate". Detroit Free Press. Archived from the original on December 20, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "Arthur Smith bio". GoHeels.com. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  3. ^ "Former Tar Heel Arthur Smith Coaching In Washington". TarHeelTimes.com. August 23, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  4. ^ Gray, Nicklaus (January 21, 2019). "What to know about new Titans offensive coordinator Arthur Smith". Tennessean.com. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Wyatt, Jim (January 21, 2019). "Titans Promote Arthur Smith to Offensive Coordinator". TitansOnline.com. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Matt LaFleur named Green Bay's 15th head coach". Packers.com. January 8, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  7. ^ Kasabian, Paul (January 11, 2020). "Derrick Henry, Titans Stun Lamar Jackson, Ravens; Advance to AFC Championship". BleacherReport.com.
  8. ^ "Mike Vrabel's Dick Deal May Have Already Decided This Year's Super Bowl". January 17, 2020.
  9. ^ Tabeek, Matthew (January 15, 2021). "Falcons, Arthur Smith agree to terms to be head coach". www.atlantafalcons.com. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  10. ^ Patra, Kevin (January 8, 2024). "Falcons fire Arthur Smith as head coach after three seasons". NFL.com. Retrieved January 8, 2024.
  11. ^ "Atlanta Falcons part ways with head coach Arthur Smith". atlantafalcons.com. January 8, 2024. Retrieved January 8, 2024.
  12. ^ Rothstein, Michael (January 8, 2024). "Atlanta Falcons fire Arthur Smith following 7-10 season". ESPN.com. Retrieved January 8, 2024.
  13. ^ Varley, Teresa (February 2, 2024). "Smith named Steelers offensive coordinator". Steelers.com. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  14. ^ Wyatt, Jim (January 21, 2019). "Arthur Smith". TitansOnline.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  15. ^ Estes, Gentry (October 31, 2019). "With a new son, Titans coordinator Arthur Smith juggling football and fatherhood". tennessean.com. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  16. ^ Watts, Micaela A. (March 28, 2022). "FedEx founder Fred Smith to step down as CEO; Raj Subramaniam to succeed him". The Commercial Appeal. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
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Arthur Smith (American football, born 1982)
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