Former University of Hawai‘i offensive lineman and assistant Brian Smith returns to the Rainbow Warrior football program as an offensive assistant coach on head coach Nick Rolovich’s first coaching staff.
Smith rejoins the program after spending the past three seasons as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Occidental College in Los Angeles, Calif. A teammate of Rolovich’s during their playing days at UH, Smith played center from 1998-2001 and spent four years on former head coach Greg McMackin’s staff from 2008-11.
“Brian brings offensive coordinator experience to our program,” Rolovich said. “He’s a former Warrior player and coach with a high level of offensive knowledge and understanding and pride of the University of Hawai‘i.”
Smith is the fourth member to join Rolovich’s staff along with returning coaches Jake Cookus, Abe Elimimian, and Chris Naeole.
With Smith calling the plays, Occidental averaged 33.8 points and 480.6 yards of total offense per game in 2015 and featured conference player of the year running back Kwame Do, who ran for a single-season record 1,571 yards (174.6 avg.) and 13 touchdowns. Do, who was second nationally in rushing in Division III, finished as the league’s career rushing leader (4,133 yards) and ran for more than 1,000-yards each season with Smith on staff. All-conference quarterback Bryan Scott threw for 2,541 yards (282.3 avg.) and 22 touchdowns last season.
Prior to joining Occidental, Smith was offensive line coach at California Lutheran, his second stint at the school where he began his collegiate coaching career. In 2012, he helped the Kingsmen to a league championship and second-best scoring offense in NCAA Division III. Three of Smith’s offensive linemen were named all-conference and one earned all-region honors.
Smith joined McMackin’s staff at Hawai‘i in 2008, coaching the offensive line in his first season and the running backs from 2009-11. Under Smith’s tutelage, UH’s run game was its most productive during the run-and-shoot era as the team rushed for 1,942 yards (106.4 per game) in 2010, its highest total in 15 years. Also that year, running back Alex Green broke a 60-year old single-game rushing record by scampering for 327 yards against New Mexico State. Green finished the season with 1,199 yards, the second highest total in school history.
Smith got his first taste of collegiate coaching as a student assistant at UH under former head coach June Jones in 2004. The following year, he joined Cal Lutheran’s staff for his first full-time position where he coached the running backs and receivers. The following season, he worked as a graduate assistant at Oregon State, helping the Beavers to a 10-4 record in 2006 and a victory in the Sun Bowl.
After one year in Corvallis, he moved to Portland State as offensive line coach under head coach Jerry Glanville and offensive coordinator Mouse Davis. In his only season in Portland, the Vikings led the nation in passing and were tops in the Big Sky Conference in total offense.
Smith lettered at UH during the program’s transition to the run-and-shoot offense. In addition to playing center, Smith started at long snapper during his four-year career and was a member of the 1999 squad which captured a share of the Western Athletic Conference title and won the Jeep O‘ahu Bowl.
Smith started most of the team’s games during his junior and senior seasons, of which he centered for Rolovich. Following his playing career at UH, Smith spent some time in the NFL with the Green Bay Packers and Baltimore Ravens, playing both center and long snapper.
Smith earned his bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2005 from UH and a master’s of arts degree in educational leadership from California Lutheran in 2013. He is married to the former Liane Yim and they have a daughter, Chloe.
Hometown: Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Alma Mater: Hawai‘i, BA (2005); California Lutheran, MA (2013)
2013-15, Occidental College, Assistant (Offensive Coordinator/Offensive Line)
2012, California Lutheran, Assistant (Offensive Line)
2009-11, Hawai‘i, Assistant (Running Backs)
2008, Hawai‘i, Assistant (Offensive Line)
2007, Portland State, Assistant (Offensive Line)
2006, Oregon State, Graduate Assistant
2005, California Lutheran, Assistant (Running Backs/Receivers)
2004, Hawai‘i, Student Assistant
2003, Royal High School (Calif.), Assistant (Offensive Line)
Hawaii Athletics Release
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