weather icon Clear

UNLV running backs coach leaves for North Carolina after short stint

DeAndre Smith’s second stint as the UNLV running backs coach didn’t last long.

Smith, who was hired by the Rebels in December, left for the same position at the University of North Carolina, UNLV coach Tony Sanchez confirmed to the Review-Journal on Friday. InsideCarolina.com first reported the move.

Sanchez already has selected Smith’s replacement and said he’s not ready to release the name until the paperwork is finalized. Sanchez said he was informed by Smith on Tuesday that he had accepted the gig with the Tar Heels.

“Good for Smith. It’s how the profession goes, and I wish him luck,” Sanchez said. “It was a big opportunity for him. You gotta roll with the punches and we have moved on.”

Sanchez expects the new running backs coach to join the staff for the first day of spring practice on Wednesday.

Smith was the UNLV running backs coach in 2009, and coached at the University of Illinois and Purdue before returning to Las Vegas nearly three months ago.

In his short shift, Smith contributed with the 2017 UNLV recruiting class, and was a major reason why highly recruited wide receiver Drew Tejchman decided to join the Rebels.

“He was comfortable with DeAndre, but it was the same way with the whole staff,” Sanchez said. “He made the decision based on coming to the program.”

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0492. Follow @gmanzano24 on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.