Football Adds Two Assistants
Head Coach Mike Sanford completed his staff with the addition of two assistant coaches.
Head Coach Mike Sanford completed his staff with the addition of two assistant coaches.

Feb. 24, 2009

LAS VEGAS - UNLV football head coach Mike Sanford on Tuesday announced the completion of his 2009 staff with the addition of running backs coach DeAndre Smith and linebackers coach Jed Stugart.

Sanford also announced that defensive coordinator Dennis Therrell, who coached the Rebels' linebackers in both of his first two seasons on campus, will move to oversee the team's safeties while second-year defensive line coach Andre Patterson has added the duties of assistant head coach.

Smith comes to Las Vegas after spending last season in the same position at fellow Mountain West Conference program New Mexico where he coached 1,105-yard rusher Rodney Ferguson. Smith joined the Lobos after three seasons at Miami (Ohio) where he served as the running game coordinator and running backs coach. He was also promoted to associate head coach there in 2007.

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 future NFL star 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), while sophomore Garrett Wolfe paced the league in 2004 and ranked fifth nationally with 1,656 yards.

A graduate of Missouri State in Springfield, Smith was a standout quarterback for the Bears, earning 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). He began his coaching career in 1999, serving as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Indiana State for two seasons.



"DeAndre Smith brings with him great experience, including right here in the Mountain West Conference," Sanford said. "He's a very enthusiastic teacher and will be a great addition to our staff."

Stugart (pronounced STEW-gurt) just completed his third season as head coach of MidAmerica Nazarene University, compiling a 26-7 record at the NAIA school located in Olathe, Kansas.

After leading the Pioneers to an undefeated regular season, a Heart of America Conference title and second consecutive trip to the NAIA playoffs, Stugart was named 2008 NAIA Region 3 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. Previous to MNU, he was on the staff at Northern Colorado from 1999-2006. Stugart was the defensive line coach before taking over the linebackers as defensive coordinator in 2003, the same year that the UNC defense ranked 16th in the nation in total defense and 13th in scoring defense. With the Bears he produced three defensive All-Americans and was part of two North Central Conference championship teams and two postseason appearances.

A native of Greeley, Colo., Stugart played three seasons at Azusa (Calif.) Pacific University, where he later began his coaching career. He earned a bachelor's degree in communication in 1994 and a master's degree in communication from UNC in 2003.

"Jed will offer a lot of experience because he has been a successful head coach," Sanford said. "He spent a lot of time working in the footprint of the Mountain West Conference (at UNC) and his strong background in coaching defense, and specifically linebackers, will help us tremendously."

UNLV opens its spring practice on March 9 on campus with the annual Scarlet & Gray Spring Game set for April 17 at 6 p.m. at Sam Boyd Stadium.

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