Jan. 27, 2010
ATLANTA – Giff Smith, who spent the past six seasons as an assistant football coach at Georgia Tech, has accepted a position as defensive assistant with the Buffalo Bills.
Smith will be reunited with former Yellow Jacket head coach Chan Gailey, who was recently named Buffalo’s head coach.
“Coaching in the NFL is something that I have always been interested in,” Smith said. “When the situation arose, I sat down with my family, and with Coach (Paul) Johnson, and made the decision.
“Coach Johnson has been a great mentor in this situation. “I am very thankful to Coach Johnson, (athletic director) Dan Radakovich and especially the Georgia Tech fans. They have been outstanding.”
Smith coached the defensive line during his six-year tenure on The Flats and added the title of recruiting coordinator in 2006. The Yellow Jackets, who appeared in a bowl game in each of his six seasons, ranked first nationally in sacks and second in tackles for loss in 2007.
Smith’s departure comes one week before National Signing Day (Feb. 3).
“Georgia Tech is a special place,” Smith said. “You recruit intelligent kids who understand the value of a degree from Georgia Tech. I don’t see any disruption at all. I told each of the recruits that I talked to that they made the best decision by choosing Georgia Tech.
“You know that Coach Johnson is building something special here at Georgia Tech,” Smith said, “which makes it even more difficult to leave.”
From 1999-2003, Smith was a member of Tulane’s coaching staff, holding multiple titles including Associate Head Coach in his last two years with the Green Wave. In 2002, the Green Wave posted an 8-5 record, earning a bowl bid in the Hawaii Bowl where the squad defeated Hawaii 36-28
Smith spent three years (1996-98) at his alma-mater of Georgia Southern as the school’s secondary coach from 1997-98 after coaching the wide receivers in 1996. He helped guide the Eagles to a pair of Southern Conference titles in 1997 and 1998. In 1998, Georgia Southern advanced to the I-AA National Championship contest. At Georgia Southern, Smith worked for head coach Paul Johnson.
For two years (1994-95), Smith served as a graduate assistant at Georgia.
Smith began his coaching career at Arkansas from 1991-93. In his first year with the school, the Razorbacks appeared in the Independence Bowl.
A native of Mableton (Ga.), Smith was inducted into the Georgia Southern Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.
“We appreciate everything that Giff did for our program,” Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson said. “We wish him the best of luck in Buffalo.”