Another K-State assistant coach is departing the football staff as wide receivers Michael Smith is leaving for Arkansas, where he will serve in the same position. Smith began as player with the Wildcats as a third-team all-American in 1991 and two-time all-Big Eight wide receiver in 1989 and 1991, and then spent a total of 15 years as an assistant. He was a student assistant at K-State in 1993, then became a graduate assistant in 1995 and 1996, before stepping up to be the running backs coach from 1997 until 2005. Smith then departed K-State in the Ron Prince three-year tenure, spending 2006 at Rice, and then 2007 and 2008 was at Arizona. He came back to coach Wildcat wide receivers in the past four seasons since Snyder returned to the sidelines.
Smith was also lauded for his recruiting, playing a big part in bringing the talent to Manhattan that led to 21 wins over the past two seasons, a 2012 Big 12 championship, and berths in the Cotton and Fiesta bowls. He was named by Rivals.com as one of the top 10 recruiters in the Big 12 for the class of 2012.
Arkansas hired former K-State assistant Bret Bielema as their head coach last month. Bielema said in a press release issued by Arkansas that he wanted to hire Smith based on seeing his work during the 2002 and 2003 season when he was the Wildcats co-defensive coordinator. Bielema coached at Wisconsin for seven seasons, and had led the Badgers to three consecutive Rose Bowls.