DeAndre Smith spent seasons as running backs coach at Illinois. Smith, a St. Louis, Mo., native, tutored eight 1,000-yard rushers in his 13 years of collegiate coaching.
Smith's most recent 1,000-yard rusher came in 2010 as he guided Mikel Leshoure to numerous school records, including rushing yards (1,697), touchdowns (20), rushing touchdowns (17), 100-yard rushing games (9) and single-game rushing yards (330 vs. Northwestern). The Illini led the Big Ten in rushing and ranked 11th in the nation with an average of 246.1 yards per game, which is the second-best average of any Big Ten team over the past five years behind only the 256.8 yards the 2007 Illini team posted.
Prior to his time at Illinois, Smith joined the UNLV staff after spending one season in the same capacity at fellow Mountain West Conference program New Mexico. While coaching the Lobos running backs, he tutored All-Mountain West selection Rodney Ferguson to a 1,105-yard rushing season.
From 2005-07, Smith served as the running game coordinator and running backs coach at Miami of Ohio and received a promotion to associate head coach in his final season. Smith helped Redhawks' running back Brandon Murphy to second-team All-MAC honors and 1,070 yards rushing in 2005.
Prior to Miami, Smith spent four seasons (2001-04) at Northern Illinois where he was part of three Mid-American Conference West Division championship teams. Under his guidance, NIU produced four straight all-conference running backs from 2001-04, including current Atlanta Falcon Michael Turner, who rushed for a league-record 1,915 yards in 2002. Under Smith's tutelage, Turner led the MAC in rushing twice (2002-03).
As a sophomore Garrett Wolfe paced the league in 2004 and ranked fifth nationally with 1,656 yards. Wolfe was a 2007 NFL draft pick and currently plays for the Chicago Bears. In his first season with the Huskies, Thomas Hammock rushed for 1,096 yards. In four years at NIU, the squad went 33-14, posted a 10 and nine-win season and went to the 2004 Silicon Valley Bowl.
Smith began his coaching career in 1999, serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Indiana State for two seasons. During that time, he molded quarterback Sheraton Fox to 1,034 yards rushing, the first signal-caller to rush and pass for over 1,000 yards in a season in Gateway Conference history.
A graduate of Missouri State in Springfield, Smith was a standout quarterback for the Bears, leading his team to two consecutive Gateway Conference Championships in 1989 and 1990. He earned All-America honors and National Offensive Player of the Year recognition in 1990. Smith totaled 6,356 yards of total offense, including 2,276 rushing yards, and accounted for 58 touchdowns during his career, earning the Gateway Conference Offensive Player of the Decade award for 1985-95.
After earning his degree in organizational communication from Missouri State in 1992, Smith went on to play professionally for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (1992) and in France (1993).
Smith and his wife, Lori, have three children: daughter, Ashley, and sons, Ryan and Donovan.