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Caribe Royale Orlando Hula Bowl announces Mike Smith and Brian Billick as head coaches

Caribe Royale Orlando Hula Bowl announces Mike Smith and Brian Billick as head coaches
Caribe Royale Orlando Hula Bowl announces Mike Smith and Brian Billick as head coaches

The 2024 Hula Bowl has announced its coaching staff and there are over 500 years of coaching experience. Mike Smith will take on Brian Billick for the third in a row.

Mike Smith (HC): 

Mike Smith spent 36 years as a coach in college football and the NFL. Most notably, Smith spent seven years as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and compiled a 67-50 career record where he earned the Associated Press Coach of the Year award after leading the Falcons to an 11-5 season in 2008 in his first season at the helm. Smith also earned the Sporting News Coach of the Year award three times (2008, 2010, 2012) with the Falcons. In the Falcon’s 2008 season, the Falcon’s offense ranked 10th in scoring offense (24.4 Pts/G), second in rushing yards per game (152.7) and sixth in total yards per game (361.2)   In Smith’s seven-year stint with Atlanta, he led the Falcons to the playoffs five times, going to the NFC Conference Championship once in the 2012-2013 season. Smith is also Atlanta’s all-time wins leader out of 13 head coaches.

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Smith’s first chance as an NFL assistant came with the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2001, he was a defensive assistant focusing on the defensive line. In the Ravens’ Super Bowl XXXV winning season, Smith helped lead the top-ranked rushing defense, allowing just 2.7 yards per carry and 60.6 yards per game. With Smith’s help on the defensive line, Raven’s defense was the best scoring defense in the league allowing only 10.3 points. In the 2002 season, Smith was promoted to linebackers coach. 

Smith saw his first coordinator opportunity from 2003-2007, leading the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Smith’s best year with the Jaguars came in 2006 when his defense ranked second overall in yards per game (283.6), fourth in points-per-game (17.1), fourth in rushing yards-per-game (91.2) and 10th in passing yards per game (192.4).

Smith was also the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2016-2018.

Before his opportunities in the NFL, Smith had several opportunities at the collegiate level starting as a graduate assistant at San Diego State in 1982. Smith spent three more years at San Diego State before taking a job as the defensive line coaching job at Morehead State in 1986. After a one-year stint with the Eagles, Smith made his way to Tennessee Tech where he spent 11 years as a defensive line coach (1987), special teams coordinator (1988-1995), defensive coordinator (1996-1998) and assistant head coach (1998).

As a player, Smith attended East Tennessee State from 1977-1981 where he played linebacker and earned the defensive MVP twice, including his senior season where he recorded a school-record 186 tackles. Smith received an opportunity to play professionally for a short time in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1982.

A native of Daytona Beach, Fla., and born in Chicago, Ill. on June 13, 1959, Smith is the oldest of eight children. Now, Smith and his wife Julie have one daughter named Logan. Smith is also the brother-in-law of opposing head coach Brian Billick.

Smith’s staff:

  • Ron Turner, Offensive Coordinator
  • Harry Hiestand, Offensive Line Coach
  • David Culley, Wide Receivers Coach
  • Gerald Brown, Running Backs Coach
  • Pete Hoener, Tight Ends Coach
  • Ray Hamilton, Defensive Line Coach
  • Glenn Pires, Linebackers Coach
  • Andrew Weidinger, DB’s/Defensive Coordinator

Brian Billick (HC): 

Billick, who currently serves as an offensive analyst for Arizona State, has a 31-year resume with nine years of NFL head coaching experience with the Baltimore Ravens. From 1999-2007, Billick compiled an 85-67 career record including a Super Bowl XXXV win as the second head coach in Ravens history. Billick’s win in Super Bowl XXXV marked the fourth time in NFL history that a second-year head coach won a Super Bowl. In Billick’s time with the Ravens, he coached several players to post-season awards including Pro Football Hall of Famers Ray Lewis and Ed Reed along with Terrell Suggs and Jamal Lewis.

As an assistant in the NFL, Billick spent time with the Minnesota Vikings from 1992-1998. After Billick served as the team’s tight ends coach from 1992-1993, Billick was promoted to offensive coordinator until the end of his tenure. Billick’s offense ranked in the top 10 statistically in four of the five years he led the offense. Most notably, the 15-1 Minnesota Vikings in his last season in Minnesota ranked as one of the best offenses in the NFL in several categories including first in total passing yards (4,328) and passing touchdowns (41), 11th in total rushing yards (1,936) and eighth in total rushing touchdowns (17). Billick’s offense helped the success of then-rookie receiver Randy Moss to achieve the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, an All-Pro selection and a Pro-Bowl selection.

Before Billick’s NFL success, he had several stops in college football. From 1977-1978, Billick volunteered as a wide receivers coach at the University of Redlands before taking a graduate assistant position at his alma mater BYU in 1978. Billick moved on to San Diego State as the tight ends coach from 1981-1985. Billick made his way back to Utah but to Utah State, serving as the team’s offensive coordinator from 1986-1988. On his final stop before heading to the NFL, Billick served as the assistant head coach and tight ends coach at Stanford from 1989-1991.

As a player, Billick spent his first collegiate season at the United States Air Force Academy where he played linebacker. Billick later transferred to BYU as a tight end where he received All-Western Athletic Conference honors in 1976. Billick was also an All-American honorable mention. After college, Billick was selected in the 1977 NFL Draft with the 295th pick in the 11th round by the San Francisco 49ers. He had a brief stint with the Dallas Cowboys. 

Billick resides in Columbus, Ohio with his wife Kim. They have two daughters named Aubrey and Keegan. Billick is the brother-in-law of opposing head coach Mike Smith.

Billick’s Staff:

  • Scott Phillips, Quarterbacks Coach
  • George Warhop, Offensive Line Coach
  • Larry Kirksey, Wide Receivers Coach
  • William Lee, Running Backs Coach
  • Marcus Lewis, Tight Ends Coach
  • Ted Cotrell, Defensive Coordinator
  • Jim Tomsula, Defensive Line Coach
  • Bill Bradley, Linebackers Coach
  • Carnell Lake, Defensive Backs Coach

Gary Zauner the specialist legend will be coaching the longsnappers, kickers and punters.

Damond Talbot

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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