Jacksonville fires Gene Smith
Dec 31, 2012 at 1:13 PM
Smith is a graduate of Monroeville High School.
Following a meeting last Thursday, the two met today at EverBank Field, a day after the Jaguars finished their franchise-worst 2-14 season with a 38-20 loss at Tennessee.
In a statement on Twitter, Khan said: “Now it is time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to begin a new chapter. We’re not looking back. I’ve made it clear from Day One that we pledge nothing less than to deliver the first Super Bowl championship to Jacksonville.”
Smith, who turned 49 today, had two years remaining on his contract.
The status of coach Mike Mularkey, his staff and the personnel department headed by Smith remains in doubt.
Khan will be searching for the third person to carry the general manager in team history, following James Harris and Smith.
The Jaguars never qualified for the playoffs in Smith’s four years in charge of the front office. The went 22-42 under his watch and none of his 26 draft picks, despite several solid performers, have made the Pro Bowl.
Smith had two years remaining on his contract and was one of 10 original Jaguars employees.
It is the first major firing for Khan, who assumed control of the Jaguars from Wayne Weaver last January.
Although supporters would point to the league-high 22 players on injured reserve this year, including running back Maurice Jones-Drew (missed 10 games) and quarterback Blaine Gabbert (missed six games), the Jaguars’ inability to receive production from reserve players coupled with poor draft results and unfortunate injuries to some of his major free-agent signings meant doom for Smith.
Among the speculated names that could draw the Jaguars’ interest is San Francisco executive Tom Gamble, Arizona’s Jason Licht and former general managers Bill Polian (Indianapolis) and Jerry Angelo (Chicago) are looking to get back in after sitting out this year.
GENE SMITH BIO
Gene Smith was named general manager of the Jaguars on January 12, 2009. His responsibilities had increased in January of 2008 when he was given the title of executive director, college and pro personnel. His duties expanded even further in his role as general manager, to include all football operations, but his primary focus continues to be the scouting and evaluation of targeted college and pro players on an annual basis, and the orchestration of both the college draft and pro free agency process. Smith is assisted by ten talent evaluators with a total of more than 100 years of scouting experience in the NFL.
Smith is one of 10 current Jaguars staff members who have been with the franchise since 1994. He has been a part of building Jaguars teams that have made eleven playoff game appearances including two AFC Championship games. Of the 26 players drafted by Smith over the past four years, 21 are on the Jaguars’ roster entering the 2012 training camp.
Smith’s first draft class in 2009 was led by two offensive tackles selected in the first two rounds in Eugene Monroe and Eben Britton. With the first two draft selections in 2010 Smith continued to strengthen the team up front by acquiring two defensive tackles, Tyson Alualu and D’Anthony Smith. In the 2011 draft, quarterback Blaine Gabbert was chosen in the first round and guard Will Rackley in the third, and the two rookies each made 14 starts. This year’s draft class was led by wide receiver Justin Blackmon, selected fifth overall following a trade with Tampa Bay, followed by defensive end Andre Branch and punter Bryan Anger in the second and third rounds.
After six years as a Jaguars college scout, Smith became the director of college scouting in 2000, and he scouted the nation and helped guide the team’s NFL draft for the next eight years. Smith was previously the team's college scout responsible for the southeast United States. He joined the Jaguars on May 1, 1994 and was originally the team's scouting representative for the northeast with the BLESTO scouting combine, which he joined in February 1994. He was the southeast regional scout for BLESTO in 1995 before becoming solely the southeast regional scout for the Jaguars.
Smith had previously been an assistant coach at the college level for eight years. He worked at Edinboro University from 1989-94, serving as an assistant coach, recruiting coordinator, and strength and conditioning coordinator. From 1986-88 Smith worked at Ohio University, where he began his college coaching career as a graduate assistant and later served as an assistant coach.
Smith graduated from Heidelberg College, serving as a captain of the football team while playing as a defensive lineman. He graduated in 1986 with a degree in education and in 1987 received his master's degree with emphasis in athletic administration from Ohio University. In 2010 Smith was selected to be a member of NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee which is an advisory arm of the Competition Committee. He also serves on the NFL Subcommittee on College Relations. Smith was a member of the 2008 NFL Managers Program at Stanford University’s Executive Education Graduate School of Business.
Smith is a member of both the NFL College Advisory Committee and the National Invitational Camp (NFL Scouting Combine) Selection Committee. In 2011 he became a member of the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship Advisory Council. He’s been inducted into his high school hall of fame, and served as a captain of the Monroeville (Ohio) High School football team as well, under Ohio High School Hall of Fame head coach Steve Ringholz. He is active in various charitable causes.
Born December 31, 1963, Smith is a native of Monroeville, Ohio. He is married with two daughters.