Robb Smith (born May 10, 1975) is an American football coach and former player. He is the former defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Golden Gophers. His hiring was reported January 9, 2017 by ESPN.[1] Previously, he held the same position for the Arkansas Razorbacks. He was formerly the linebackers coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under coach Greg Schiano during the 2013 season.[2]

Robb Smith
Current position
TitleDefensive Coordinator
Biographical details
Born (1975-05-10) May 10, 1975 (age 44)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Playing career
Position(s)Strong safety
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1999–2001Iowa (GA/QC)
2002–2004Maine (DB)
2005Maine (ST/LB)
2006–2008Maine (AHC/DC)
2009Rutgers (ST/OLB)
2010Rutgers (ST/CB)
2011Rutgers (ST/LB)
2012Rutgers (DC/DB)
2013Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LB)
2014–2016Arkansas (DC/DB)
2017–2018Minnesota (DC/LB)
2019Texas A&M (analyst)
2020–presentRutgers (DC)


Smith was the Special Teams Coordinator at Rutgers for three years. During his tenure leading the special teams units the Scarlet Knights' Special Teams ranked first nationally in blocked kicks with 31. The 2010 team led the nation in blocked punts followed by the 2011 team finishing 2nd in blocked punts. Throughout those seasons the Scarlet Knights Special Teams ranked fifth nationally in punt and kickoff returns for touchdowns.[3]

Prior to the 2012 season Smith was promoted to Defensive Coordinator at Rutgers. The Rutgers defense was a historic one which helped lead the Scarlet Knights to their first conference championship in over fifty years. The Scarlet Knights defense ranked fourth in the nation in points allowed per game (14.2), sixth in rushing yards allowed per game (95.2), and tenth in total defense allowing 311 yards per game. Following the 2012 season, Smith went on to accept an opportunity to be the Linebackers Coach for the Tampa Buccaneers.[3]

On January 14, 2020 it was announted that Smith would be returning to Rutgers as the Defensive Coordinator. This has caused grumbling from fans as it is rumored that Smith does not enjoy recruiting. [4], [5]

Tampa BayEdit

During the 2013 season, Smith coached Lavonte David to first-team All-Pro. He started every game of the 2013 season and recorded 144 tackles. David became only the 3rd player in NFL History and the first linebacker to record 100 tackles on more, have six of more sacks and five or more interceptions. [3]


Bret Bielema hired Smith prior to the 2014 season in Fayetteville. The Razorback defense found success finishing in the top ten in scoring defense (19.2) and total defense (323.4). The Razorbacks also went on to shutout back to back ranked opponents #17 LSU (17-0) and #8 Ole Miss (30-0) helping the Razorbacks reach their first bowl game since 2011. The Razorback defense continued to have success stopping the run in 2015 holding Leonard Fournette to 91 yards rushing and Derrick Henry to 95 yards rushing. His defense finished the season ranked 12th nationally and 2nd in the SEC in rushing defense (116.46). [3]


Smith was hired by P.J. Fleck on his initial staff at Minnesota in January 2017. The 2017 defense ranked 30th in total defense and 36th in scoring defense. But he was dismissed after only twenty-one games. [6]


  1. ^ "Robb Smith hired at Minnesota as new defensive coordinator". January 9, 2017. Retrieved January 9, 2020.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c d "Arkansas Razorbacks website". Retrieved January 9, 2020.
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  5. ^
  6. ^ Greder, Andy (November 4, 2018). "Gophers fire defensive coordinator Robb Smith after 21 games". Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Retrieved January 9, 2020.