Robb Smith’s second stint at defensive coordinator for Rutgers is now over.
The Scarlet Knights did not renew Smith’s contract and there will be a new defensive coordinator for the team in 2022, according to James Kratch of NJ Advance Media. Smith is expected to be named Duke’s defensive coordinator this week per the report.
Duke recently hired Mike Elko as its new head coach. During the 2019 season, Smith served as a defensive analyst for Texas A&M, while Elko was the defensive coordinator. This has not been made official yet but an announcement is expected to come in the near future.
Smith was re-hired by Rutgers in 2019. He spent time as a special teams coordinator from 2009-2011 before taking over as defensive coordinator in 2012. During his first stint, Smith spent time under Greg Schiano and Kyle Flood. Smith then spent one season on Schiano’s staff with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2013. He has also spent time as defensive coordinator with Arkansas (2014-2016) and Minnesota (2017-2018).
The Scarlet Knights finished 11th in the Big Ten in total defense this season. They allowed 24.6 points per game, which was fifth most in the conference. Rutgers struggled against the run allowing 162.9 yards per game, which was second most in the conference.
Since Schiano returned to Piscataway in December 2020, Smith is the first on-field assistant to leave. The continuity of the staff was a bright spot coming into the 2021 season but the Scarlet Knights will now have a new defensive coordinator next season. It is unknown who that will be but Fran Brown as been mentioned as a very-early replacement — who is a fan favorite due to his recruiting success.
For more on potential candidates and the multiple paths Schiano could explore in filling the DC position, click here.