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December 22, 2012

Mark Smith named head strengh and conditioning coach

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Southern Miss Director of Athletics Jeff Hammond announced Saturday the hiring of Mark Smith as head Strength and Conditioning coach.

"We are exceptionally pleased to have Mark with a wealth of experience on both the collegiate and professional level join our Athletics Department," said Hammond. "We look forward to his leadership and mentoring as he motivates our young Student-Athletes to achieve their respective dreams and goals."

Smith comes to Southern Miss after spending his second year as the assistant director of Strength and Conditioning with the West Virginia football program. In addition, he assisted with assigned Olympic sports.

Prior to his stint at West Virginia, he worked as the director of Strength and Conditioning for football at Tennessee in 2009. His other collegiate experience includes tenures at South Carolina, 2004-09 (director of Strength and Conditioning), Kansas, 2002-03 (director of Strength and Conditioning), Florida, 1998-2002 (assistant director of Strength and Conditioning) and NC State, 1993-98 (assistant director of Strength and Conditioning).

He served two stints in the NFL working with the New Orleans Saints (2004), (assistant Strength and Conditioning) and the Washington Redskins (2003-04). He has coached 12 first-round draft picks during his career, 10 football players who were selected to the NFL All-Pro team and one player selected for the Lou Groza Award.

Smith, a native of Kannapolis, N.C., was a two-year starter and three-year letterwinner as a linebacker at NC State. He graduated with his bachelor's degree from NC State in 1989. After his collegiate career, he was signed as a free agent linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys.

Smith and his wife, Frances, have two boys, Mark and Dylan.

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