CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — On a Lovie Smith coached team, family ties are left off the football field.
“Has to be ‘Coach,'” Miles Smith said. “There’s no ‘Dad’ here.”
Even for Lovie’s youngest son, Miles, who serves as an graduate assistant coach with the defense.
“Yeah, he’s my son,” Lovie Smith said. “But while we’re out here, he’s a coach.”
It’s not the first time the father-son duo have teamed up on a coaching staff. Miles worked his way up from intern to a defensive quality control coach with Tampa Bay during Lovie’s time with the Buccaneers.
“I think that my father’s the best coach in football,” Miles Smith said. “So what better place to be if I want to develop as a coach.”
“He’ll tell you he’s a lot smarter than I am but that’s not saying an awful lot,” Lovie Smith said. “But I think he just get’s it. He’s a personable guy. He knows how to interact with players.”
And it’s not just his dad’s he’s learning from. Miles works closely with defensive coordinator Hardy Nickerson.
“Hardy played 16 years in the NFL, he knows his stuff,” Miles Smith said. “I take a little bit from every one of them. Everybody has a little bit to add.”
“He’s a young coach and most young coaches have a lot of energy and love coming to work each day,” added Lovie Smith. “That’s definitely the case with him.”
“I want to bring a little youthfulness and enthusiasm,” said Miles Smith.
And after taking two years off after Lovie left Tampa, Miles is happy to be back on the field, keeping it all in the family.