Sherman Smith

Sherman Smith (born November 1, 1954) is a former professional American football running back who played eight seasons for the Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers between 1976 and 1983. He was also the running backs coach for the Seattle Seahawks, as well as the former offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins. After his playing days were over, he embarked upon a second career as a football coach, starting in high school, then college, and finally back in the National Football League with the Houston Oilers / Tennessee Titans, the Washington Redskins, and the Seattle Seahawks.

Sherman Smith
Position:Running backs coach
Personal information
Born: (1954-11-01) November 1, 1954 (age 65)
Youngstown, Ohio
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:225 lb (102 kg)
Career information
High school:Youngstown (OH) North
College:Miami (OH)
NFL Draft:1976 / Round: 2 / Pick: 58
Career history
As player:
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:3,520
Rushing average:4.2
Rushing touchdowns:28
Receiving yards:2,393
Receiving touchdowns:10
Player stats at

Early yearsEdit

Smith played quarterback of the North High School football team in his native Youngstown, Ohio. After graduation, he attended Miami University in Ohio, playing the same position and leading the Redhawks to the Mid-American Conference title in each of his last three seasons, with a stellar record of 33-1-1.

He is a cousin of former NFL tight end Mike Cobb, whose playing career at Michigan State overlapped with Smith's at Miami. Their respective teams faced each other in the 1975 season, with Michigan State winning 14-13 which was Miami's only regular season loss that year.

Professional playing careerEdit

Smith was drafted in the second round of the 1976 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks as a running back. As a Seahawk, Smith was called "The Tank" in reference to the Sherman Tank because of his performance to run through tackles. He was the first offensive player picked by the new expansion team in its first season.[1] He was the first Seahawk to rush for over 100 yards in a game when he ran for 124 yards against the Atlanta Falcons on November 7, 1976. [2] Smith led the team in rushing in his first four seasons, eventually amassing 3,429 yards and 28 touchdowns in his seven years with the team. He also caught the ball 210 times for a total of 2,445 yards and 10 touchdowns. He played sparingly for the San Diego Chargers in the 1983 season.

Coaching careerEdit

The following year, Smith began teaching and coaching at Redmond Junior High School, then at Redmond High School in the state of Washington. He became the running back coach at Miami University, his alma mater, in 1990. Between 1992 and 1994, he worked as the tight end and running back coach at the University of Illinois. In 1995, Smith joined the staff of the Houston Oilers (now the Tennessee Titans) as running back coach, where he helped mold Eddie George into one of the league's elite running backs. The organization promoted Smith in 2006, giving him the title of assistant head coach in addition to his continuing duties as running back coach.[3]

In 2008, Smith left the Titans to join the Washington Redskins as offensive coordinator, reuniting with his former Seahawks teammate, Jim Zorn, who had been named head coach of the Redskins.[4]

After the 2009 season, Zorn was fired and Mike Shanahan was named as the new head coach in Washington. Smith was not retained on staff by Shanahan. Shortly thereafter Smith was reunited with his former team, the Seattle Seahawks, when hired as a position coach (running backs).[5]

As of February 17, 2017 Smith was no longer with Seattle Seahawks due to a change to the position made by the head coach Pete Carroll.

Personal lifeEdit

Smith's children are Shavonne, Sherman and Deland. Deland is Kansas City Chiefs running backs coach Deland McCullough. The two had known each other since Smith was recruiting McCullough to the RedHawks when the latter was 17, but only learned they were related in 2017.[6] His brother was former CFL All-Star Darrell K. Smith.


  1. ^ José Miguel Romero (November 22, 2003). "Catching up with Sherman Smith: No. 47 coaches Eddie George now". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Running Backs Coach Sherman Smith". Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved December 16, 2007.
  4. ^ "Titans' Smith joins Redskins as offensive coordinator". Retrieved December 13, 2015.
  5. ^ "Seahawks hire Sherman Smith to coach running backs". Retrieved January 22, 2010.
  6. ^