Former Tigers defender Rod Smith is in his fifth year serving as a member of the Memphis coaching staff.
Smith lettered from 2004-06 and was a standout for the Tigers defense, before having his playing career cut short following a severe neck injury in the 2006 Arkansas State game. In that contest, Smith fractured his C5 vertebrae and required surgery. Smith, though, returned to the sidelines just four days after surgery to support his teammates. He continued to join his team at practices and workouts the remainder of the 2007 season.
For his career, Smith played in 28 games and made 13 starts. He completed his career with 89 total tackles, including 56 solos and 33 assisted tackles. He also added five pass breakups and two interceptions.
A native of Milan, Tenn., Smith was presented the Top Tiger Award in 2007 and was awarded the True Tiger Award at the 2006 Blue-Gray Game. In the spring of 2005, he received the Chris Faros Most Improved Award.
Smith graduated from Memphis in August of 2008 with a degree in sport and leisure management.