Head coach Dave Cecchini has announced the addition of Jerome Smith to the Valparaiso University football staff as the team’s running backs coach.
Smith comes to the Crusaders after spending the last three seasons at Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where he coached running backs, defensive backs and served as the recruiting coordinator.
“Coach Smith has significant recruiting ties in the state of Indiana and is from the Indianapolis area,” Cecchini said. “He has a great deal of experience working with running backs and has experience recruiting at an elite academic institution, similar to Valpo. We are excited to welcome Coach Smith to our staff.”
Veteran assistant coach John Snyder will remain on staff and shift from coaching running backs to tight ends in addition to retaining his duties as special teams coordinator.
Smith coached at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. in 2014, mentoring the team’s defensive backs. He has also coached at Walsh University, Marian University and worked in administrative quality control for the Indiana University football program.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to join Valpo’s coaching staff,” Smith said. “This is a staff that has had a lot of success, and I’m looking forward to helping build upon that. It’s a great opportunity to come back to my home state and be a part of Coach Cecchini’s staff. He has a vision and understands how to get the most out of his team. It’s a program on the rise.”
Smith earned his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from Purdue University in May 2009, then garnered a Master of Science in Sport Management from Indiana University in December 2010.
Smith, who was on staff as Marian won an NAIA national championship in 2012, has coached a wide variety of position groups and has recruiting contacts in various geographical areas.
“I’ve seen football from multiple angles and different perspectives,” Smith said. “I know the state really well from a recruiting standpoint; I’ve been recruiting this state since I started in college coaching. Our running backs seem like a very talented position group, and I can’t wait to help their success reach new heights.”