ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan Men’s Basketball Coach Juwan Howard hired Michigan’s all-time leading scorer (2,841 points) Jay Smith as the Wolverines’ Director of Player Personnel and Development. The former Mio star from the 1978 state finalist squad returns to Michigan after serving as an assistant coach for seven seasons (1989-96) where he helped the Wolverines advance to six NCAA Tournaments and assisted in recruiting what some consider to be the greatest class ever recruited in U-M’s famed “Fab Five.”
“There are many people who have helped me throughout my career. However, Jay Smith is someone special who I have a deep connection with and the utmost respect for,” said Howard. “He has such an incredible passion for the game, and his ability to relate with young men is going to be something invaluable for us. We are very fortunate to have him return to Ann Arbor and join our staff.”
During his time in Ann Arbor, Smith aided in coaching All-Americans Rumeal Robinson, Loy Vaught, Terry Mills, Chris Webber, Jalen Rose and Howard. Smith spent his last three seasons as the head coach at Kalamazoo College (2016-19). In his first season, he guided the Hornets to a four-win improvement, and in his third year he guided the Hornets to a tie for sixth place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), the program’s best finish since 2011. Prior to that, Smith led Grand Valley State and Central Michigan.
“There are always interesting twists in this game,” said Smith. “That can be said for this situation. I have been through plenty over the last few years and loved the opportunity Kalamazoo trusted in me. However, the chance to help out Juwan and return to Michigan is something my family and I are excited about and thankful for.”
Smith joins Chris Hunter, the program’s new director of basketball operations, David Metzendorf as the video analyst and Jaaron Simmons as the graduate manager.