Michigan men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard announced new staff hires Monday. Most notable among the additions is the return of Jay Smith to Ann Arbor. Smith will serve as the director of player personnel and development.
Howard and Smith share a relationship dating back to Smith’s time as an assistant coach for the Wolverines from 1989-1996 and was part of the effort that helped recruit the 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,” Howard said in a press release. “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.”
After his first stint with Michigan, Smith went on to earn his first head coaching job at Grand Valley State where he won the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships, leading his team to an NCAA Division II Tournament appearance. He was also the head coach of the Central Michigan basketball team for nine seasons which included an appearance in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Most recently, he spent the last three seasons as the head coach at Kalamazoo College.
“There are always interesting twists in this game,” Smith said. “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.”
Howard also decided to retain Chris Hunter as the Wolverines’ director of basketball operations. Hunter has spent the last three seasons in the director role and will begin his sixth season overall with Michigan.
In addition, Howard brought back former guard Jaaron Simmons as the graduate manager. Simmons was a part of the 2017-2018 team that appeared in the national championship game and will be working towards his master’s degree in social work.
The final hiring Howard announced was adding David Metzendorf as the team’s video analyst. Metzendorf is an Ann Arbor native and spent the past three seasons at Holy Cross as director of basketball operations and assistant coach.