Kolby Smith - Football - Arkansas Razorbacks

Kolby Smith

Former NFL running back and NFL assistant coach Kolby Smith has been named Arkansas’ new running backs coach by Head Coach Sam Pittman.

Following a four-year career in the NFL as a running back, Smith began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Razorbacks in 2012 before joining Bobby Petrino’s staff at Western Kentucky as the Hilltoppers’ running backs coach in 2013. He followed Petrino to Louisville the following year, where he coached the Cardinals’ running backs for five seasons. Smith’s relationship with Petrino dates back to Smith’s college days as a running back at Louisville for Petrino (2003-06) during Petrino’s first stint leading the Cardinals.

Smith served the last four seasons on the staff of the Miami Dolphins working with team’s running backs, first as a quality control coach (2020-21) before being promoted to an offensive assistant role prior to the 2022 season. This past season, Smith helped the Dolphins’ offense to record heights setting a franchise record with 6,899 total yards while ranking second in the league in both points per game (29.2) and passing yards per game (276.4) and sixth in rushing yards per game (135.8). Running back Raheem Mostert topped 1,000 yards for the first time in his career and led all NFL running backs with 18 rushing touchdowns. In 2022, Smith worked with an offense that finished in the top 10 (sixth, 364.5 yards per game) for the first time since 1995. Miami averaged 6.1 yards per play, which ranked second in the NFL.

Before his jump to the professional ranks, Smith spent seven seasons as a college assistant at Rutgers (2019), Louisville (2014-18) and Western Kentucky.

In one season at Rutgers, Smith helped sophomore running back Isiah Pacheco improve in nearly every category. Pacheco set career-highs in carries (169), rushing yards (729) and rushing touchdowns (7), which led the Knights.

At Louisville, he helped the Cardinals to four bowls, while setting school records in rushing yards in back-to-back years in 2017 (3,186) and 2016 (3,148). In 2017, the Cardinals ranked 15th nationally in rushing (245.1 ypg) and totaled over 250 rushing yards in seven games. Smith’s three running backs combined to rush for 1,225 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 2016 campaign saw the Cardinals total 37 scores on the ground, highlighted by the 903 yards and six touchdowns by Brandon Radcliff, who was second on the team with four 100-yard games.

During the 2015 campaign, Smith helped the Cardinals post their best rushing games in the second part of the season, running for over 200 yards in four of the final five games. That included a season-best 314 yards in a 38-24 victory over Kentucky. For the year, the Cardinals averaged 171.0 yards on the ground and totaled 23 touchdowns.

With a stable of running backs in 2014, Smith’s unit ran for 28 touchdowns and averaged 142.7 yards per game in leading the Cardinals to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Belk Bowl. The team’s backs recorded six 100-yard rushing games, including Brandon Radcliff, who tallied a team-best three 100-yard rushing games.

In his lone season with the Hilltoppers, Smith tutored Antonio Andrews, the nation’s top all-purpose player, to a career season on the ground. Andrews reset the school rushing mark with 1,730 yards in 2013. WKU running backs combined for 30 of the team’s 31 rushing touchdowns, led by Andrews’ career-best 16. He also set a school record for the most 100-yard rushing games in a career (21), in a season (11) and consecutively (11). He generated 125 all-purpose yards in 25 consecutive games, a streak unmatched to within 10 games by any other player in the country. Smith’s running backs also accounted for 724 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns through the air.

As a player at Louisville, Smith helped the Cardinals to a 12-1 record as the primary back in 2006. Sharing the backfield that year with Michael Bush, Smith stepped in after an injury to Bush to average more than five yards per carry, scoring seven touchdowns on a team that defeated Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl, the program’s first BCS victory.

For his career, Smith rushed for over 1,800 yards and scoring 18 rushing TDs while averaging nearly 6.0 yards per carry. He also caught 56 passes for over 500 yards and two touchdowns.

Smith was selected in the fifth round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He immediately made an impact in his rookie season, rushing for over 400 yards on 112 carries. Smith played in all 16 games in 2007, scoring a pair of touchdowns and earning AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors after rushing for 150 yards on 31 carries against the Raiders. He finished his NFL career in 2010, spending brief periods with the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Smith and his wife, Ashley, have three sons, Kolby Jr., Karter and Klay.

The Smith File
Birthdate: December 15, 1984
Hometown: Tallahassee, Fla.
High School: James S. Rickards HS
College: Louisville, 2006
Family: Wife – Ashley; Sons – Kolby Jr., Karter and Klay

Coaching Experience
2012 Arkansas (Graduate Assistant)
2013 Western Kentucky (Running Backs)
2014-18 Louisville (Running Backs)
2019 Rutgers (Running Backs)
2020-21 Miami Dolphins (Offensive Quality Control)
2022-23 Miami Dolphins (Offensive Assistant)

Playing Experience
2003-06 Louisville