Michigan safeties coach Brian Smith has accepted a job at Rice University, as first reported by Ivan Maisel of ESPN. 

Smith will serve as the Owls’ defensive coordinator under their new head coach, Mike Bloomgren.

Bloomgren and Smith worked together 10 years ago for the New York Jets, where Smith served as a secondary coach from 2007 to 2014.

Smith will leave the Michigan football program after two seasons.

This season, Smith helped coach Michigan to the nation’s best pass defense. The Wolverines ranked first in passing yards allowed per game, with just 142.7.

In the last two years, Smith has coached standout defensive backs, including Jourdan Lewis, an All-American cornerback at Michigan who now plays for the Dallas Cowboys.

Michigan’s secondary didn’t have any players receive All-American accolades this year, but nonetheless, each starter received an All-Big Ten award.

Junior safety Tyree Kinnel and sophomore safety Josh Metellus each received either a coaches’ and/or media All-Big Ten mention.

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