Coaches

Sherman Smith
Running Backs
College:
Miami (Ohio)
Experience:
18

An original Seahawk, Smith returns to his NFL roots to continue his NFL coaching career. Hired to coach running backs on February 4, 2010, he returns to Seattle where he played for eight seasons.

In 2011, the Seahawks found their offensive identity of running the football led by Pro Bowlers Marshawn Lynch and fullback Michael Robinson. Robinson paved the way for Lynch’s career-highs in carries (285), yards (1,204) and rushing touchdowns (12). Lynch led the league the last-half of the season with 941 yards and nine touchdowns, rushing for 100-plus in six of the last nine games and became Seattle’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Shaun Alexander (2005). He also broke Alexander’s franchisemark (9), scoring in 11 consecutive games played.

An original Seahawk, Smith returns to his NFL roots to continue his NFL coaching career. Hired to coach running backs on February 4, 2010, he returns to Seattle where he played for eight seasons.

In 2011, the Seahawks found their offensive identity of running the football led by Pro Bowlers Marshawn Lynch and fullback Michael Robinson. Robinson paved the way for Lynch’s career-highs in carries (285), yards (1,204) and rushing touchdowns (12). Lynch led the league the last-half of the season with 941 yards and nine touchdowns, rushing for 100-plus in six of the last nine games and became Seattle’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Shaun Alexander (2005). He also broke Alexander’s franchisemark (9), scoring in 11 consecutive games played.

Smith’s running back corps in 2010 was bolstered with the midseason trade for Buffalo’s Marshawn Lynch. He set a career-high with three rush scores vs. Carolina, the first time a Seahawks player accomplished that feat since Shaun Alexander in 2005.

A veteran of the NFL for 26 seasons as both a player and coach, Smith spent two seasons with the Washington Redskins (2008-09) after 13 years with the Tennessee Titans. He served his last season with Washington as the Redskins offensive coordinator.

Four members of the Redskins offense were named to the 2008 and 2009 Pro Bowls – TE Chris Cooley, RB Clinton Portis, T Chris Samuels and FB Mike Sellers.

Portis made his second Pro Bowl and his first as a member of the Redskins after he registered the second-most rushing yards (1,487) in a single season in franchise history, while Sellers was named to his first Pro Bowl after he paved the way for Portis to finish fourth in the NFL with the aforementioned 1,487 rushing yards.

Smith’s coaching background is primarily with running backs, but he has worked under several offensive coordinators who have operated versions of the West Coast Offense, including Mike Heimerdinger and Norm Chow.

Prior to joining the Redskins, Smith spent 13 seasons as running backs coach with the Tennessee Titans (1995-2007). He also held the title of assistant head coach the last two seasons.

In his final season with the Titans in 2008, Tennessee finished with the NFL's fifth-ranked rushing attack, averaging 131.8 yards per game. Under Smith's guidance, second-year running back LenDale White led the Titans offense with 1,110 rushing yards on 303 carries. He logged five 100-yard rushing performances and led the Titans with seven rushing touchdowns.

In 2006, Tennessee amassed the sixthhighest rushing total in Titans/Oilers franchise history with 2,214 rushing yards. The team's yards-per-carry average of 4.72 established a new franchise mark. Travis Henry led the Titans' ground game with 1,211 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 270 carries.

From 1996-2003, Smith helped running back Eddie George develop into one of the great running backs in NFL history. With 10,441 career rushing yards, George places 24th on the NFL's all-time rushing list. George is one of 26 running backs in NFL history to reach 10,000 career rushing yards and only the second to reach the mark without missing a game. The other was Hall of Famer Jim Brown.

Before joining the Titans, Smith was an assistant coach at Illinois for three seasons. He coached tight ends from 1992-93 and running backs in 1994. Smith also coached running backs at Miami (Ohio) University, his alma mater, from 1990-91.

Smith played nine years in the NFL as a running back, mostly with Seattle. He joined the Seahawks as a second-round draft choice (58th overall) in 1976 and led the team in rushing yardage in each of his first four seasons. For his career, Smith compiled 3,520 rushing yards and 28 touchdowns on 834 carries, as well as 217 receptions for 2,393 yards and 10 touchdowns.

He departed Seattle in 1983 as the Seahawks' all-time rushing yardage leader. He totaled 3,429 rushing yards in Seattle, which is currently sixth best behind Shaun Alexander, Curt Warner, Chris Warren, John L. Williams and Ricky Watters. He is also fourth in Seahawks history with 28 rushing touchdowns. Smith closed out his career with the San Diego Chargers from 1983-84.

At Miami (Ohio), Smith played quarterback. He led the Redhawks to a 33-1-1 record and the Mid-American Conference crown his last three years.

Upon retiring from playing football in 1984, Smith taught for five years and was the head boys track and basketball coach at Redmond Jr. High. He also coached football at Redmond High during this time.

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Smith and his wife, Sharon, have two children, daughter Shavonne, and son Sherman, also a graduate of Miami (Ohio).

Recent Articles

Recent Videos