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Danny Smith
Special Teams Coordinator
College:
Edinboro State
Experience:
22

Biography

Danny Smith
Special Teams Coordinator

Danny Smith is in his fourth season with the Steelers as the special teams coordinator. Smith was hired on January 31, 2013.

In 2015, the Steelers lost kicker Shaun Suisham for the season in the team’s first preseason contest due to a knee injury. Pittsburgh then went through two other kickers (Garrett Hartley and Josh Scobee) before signing Chris Boswell prior to the team’s Week 5 game.

Danny Smith
Special Teams Coordinator

Danny Smith is in his fourth season with the Steelers as the special teams coordinator. Smith was hired on January 31, 2013.

In 2015, the Steelers lost kicker Shaun Suisham for the season in the team’s first preseason contest due to a knee injury. Pittsburgh then went through two other kickers (Garrett Hartley and Josh Scobee) before signing Chris Boswell prior to the team’s Week 5 game.

Though Boswell had never kicked in an NFL game, he made 29 field goals and 26 PATs for a total of 113 points in just 12 games. He set rookie/first-year single-season team records in field goals made (29), points (113) and field goal percentage (90.6). Boswell’s 29 made field goals tied for fifth on the team’s single-season field goals made chart.

Smith also was working with a first-year punter, Jordan Berry. Berry set the Steelers’ single-season record (since 1976) for the highest percentage of punts downed inside the 20-yard line (47.5). That percentage also placed him third in the NFL in 2015. In addition, Berry tied the team’s single-season net punting record with a 39.1 net average.

In 2014, Smith got solid efforts from Suisham and punter Brad Wing. Suisham made 29-of-32 field goal attempts and all 45 of his PATs for a total of 132 points, good for fourth in the AFC. Wing averaged 43.7 yards per punt in his debut NFL season in 2014. His gross punting average was the fifth-highest total in team history for a rookie or first-year player in a single season.

In the Steelers’ Week 17 showdown with the Cincinnati Bengals, the AFC North Championship was on the line. Smith’s punt return units cleared the way for Antonio Brown to return a punt 71 yards for a touchdown. It marked the second straight season Brown returned a punt for a touchdown against Cincinnati.

In his first season as the Steelers’ special teams coordinator in 2013, Suisham had a career year, connecting on 30-of-32 field goals, which are a career high and are tied for the third-most field goals made in a single season in Steelers history. His 93.8 field goal percentage (minimum 15 attempts) also set a new single-season team record.

In addition to being selected to the Pro Bowl as a wide receiver in 2013, Brown was also selected as a return specialist. He recorded a 67-yard punt return for a touchdown in Week 15 versus Cincinnati, which was one of his five returns of 40 or more yards on the season.

Prior to joining Pittsburgh, Smith served as the Washington Redskins’ special teams coordinator from 2004-2012. He helped establish Washington’s special teams as one of the top coverage and return units in the NFL.

In 2011, Smith’s special teams units ranked first in the NFC in kickoff return average allowed (20.8 yards) for the second consecutive season. Also in 2011, Smith guided Graham Gano to a career season. Gano finished the season with a career-high 31 field goals made. In Week 9, Gano set a team record for the longest field goal, when he connected on a 59-yarder.

The Redskins finished first in the NFC in kickoff return average allowing 19.0 yards per return, and second in the NFC in opponent’s average starting position on kickoffs (23.7-yard line) in 2010.

Smith’s teams also produced two of the biggest plays of the 2009 Redskins’ season. Hunter Smith had an eight-yard touchdown run on a fake field goal in Week 1, and he threw a 35-yard touchdown in Week 10. In doing so, Smith became the first specialist in NFL history to rush for a touchdown and throw a touchdown in the same season.

Smith’s units ranked among the best in the NFL in 2006, finishing fourth in the NFL in kickoff coverage and eighth in the NFL in punt coverage. The season was filled with numerous special teams splash plays, including one kickoff return for a touchdown, one punt return for a touchdown, two blocked punts and one blocked field goal. 

Prior to joining the Redskins, Smith was the special teams coordinator for the Buffalo Bills (2001-03), coached tight ends for the Detroit Lions (1999-2000), and he split duties as the defensive backs and special teams coach for the Philadelphia Eagles (1995-98).

Smith spent eight years (1987-94) as an assistant coach for Georgia Tech, where he coached running backs, wide receivers and defensive backs. He was on the staff for the Yellow Jackets’ 1990 team that was named co-NCAA National Champions.

Smith played defensive back for Edinboro State College from 1971-1975, and he was elected to the Edinboro University Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007. His first collegiate coaching position came as a graduate assistant at his alma mater in 1976. Smith also was an assistant coach at Clemson University (1979), The College of William & Mary (1980-83) and The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina (1984-86).

Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Smith attended Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School. He coached at Central Catholic (1977-78), helping tutor future Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino. Smith is married to Elaine, of Ambridge, Pa. They have three children, Erin, Courtney and Jason.

1976
Edinboro State College
Graduate Assistant

1977-1978
Pittsburgh Central Catholic High School
Defensive Backs

1979
Clemson University
Graduate Assistant

1980-1983
The College of William & Mary
Assistant

1984-1986
The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina
Assistant

1987-1994
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
Running Backs/Wide Receivers/Defensive Backs

1995-1998
Philadelphia Eagles
Defensive Backs/Special Teams

1999-2000
Detroit Lions
Tight Ends

2001-2003
Buffalo Bills
Special Teams Coordinator

2004-2012
Washington Redskins
Special Teams Coordinator

2013-16
Pittsburgh Steelers
Special Teams Coordinator