Stephen Smith is named the 22nd head coach in Lincoln University history

Stephen Smith is named the 22nd head coach in Lincoln University history (photo/Lincoln Athletics)

Steven A. Smith, an 18-year veteran with experience in both the college and professional levels, has been named the next head coach of the Lincoln football team. Smith’s hiring was announced at a press conference on Tuesday morning (Dec. 6).

Smith was the offensive coordinator at Albany State. Under Smith’s direction, the Golden Rams have gone undefeated in league play in the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in three of the past four seasons and have consistently fielded one of the conference’s top offenses.

“Where Lincoln was in the past, it doesn’t matter,” said Smith. “We’re trying to build a legacy here.  If we talk about just winning the conference, that’s all we’ll, but if you focus on a national championship, then that’s what your focus is.”

Over the last eight seasons at Lincoln University, the Blue Tigers have gone 11-77.  As if that record needs anymore perspective, another D-II school here in Missouri, Northwest Missouri State is the defending national champions.  They are 13-0…this season.  They have two more wins this season than Lincoln has been able to accomplish over the last eight seasons.

However, I agree with Coach Smith, if you don’t set the bar for the ultimate prize in football, you’ll never reach it.

Smith also says the focus of recruiting has to center around the state of Missouri and local high school programs such as Jefferson City, Helias Catholic and Blair Oaks.

Lincoln’s record since 2009:

2016  1-10
2015  1-10
2014  2-9
2013  3-8
2012  1-10
2011  1-10
2010  2-9
2009 0-11

Smith, who has four NCAA Division II playoff appearances on his coaching resume, has spent nine total years as a college assistant with stops at Tennessee State, Delta State and Virginia State. In seven of those nine seasons, his teams played for a conference championship, winning four. During his time at the college level, Smith has coached 21 all-conference players, eight All-Americans, four conference players of the year and a candidate for the Harlon Hill Trophy, which is awarded to NCAA Division II’s most outstanding football player. Additionally, Smith has coached five players who have gone on to play in the National Football League, including two who were draft picks.

Besides having tremendous success at the college level, Smith has also spent eight years in the professional ranks, including serving as an assistant under Romeo Crennel with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012. Smith most recently was an assistant offensive line coach with the Green Bay Packers during their 2014 offseason training activities, and he has also coached with the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints. In 2005, Smith served as the running backs coach of the Frankfurt Galaxy in NFL Europe, and in 2006, Smith was the offensive line coach of the Rhein Fire. Eight of the 10 offensive linemen he coached in 2006 ended up being signed to NFL squads, making Smith the only position coach during the history of NFL Europe to have that many players signed in a single year.

Smith also worked in the Arena Football League as the Detroit Fury’s offensive and defensive line coach in 2003-04 and started his coaching career at Southside Prep High School in Chicago. Smith was a college fullback for both Langston (1994) and Southern Illinois (1995-98), and graduated from SIU with a bachelor of science in pre-med. Smith also studied medicine at Northern Illinois before transitioning into coaching full time.