Smith makes leap of faith for possible KSU staff position

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Arizona inside receivers coach Mike Smith has left the Wildcats program to pursue a possible position at Kansas State.

The Arizona Daily Star reported Tuesday that Smith told Arizona coach Mike Stoops of his decision on Monday, and the job opening was placed by athletic department officials early Tuesday.

"Mike Stoops gave me his blessing," Smith told the Star. "I value Mike's friendship and our relationship on and off the field. It was a tough decision for me."

Smith could become the second Arizona coach to join KSU coach Bill Snyder's staff in the past month. Associate head coach Dana Dimel, a former veteran KSU assistant under Snyder, returned to his old school on Feb. 10.

With the departure of offensive coordinator Andy Ludwig for a vacant job at California late last month, Dimel likely will roll into the coordinator position with Smith taking a similar job coaching receivers with the Wildcats.

The return makes a lot of sense for Smith, who coached running backs with Snyder on his KSU staff from 1995-2005. His two daughters still live in the Manhattan area, the Star reported.

It would appear to be another part of Snyder's staff familiar with his coaching philosophy. Among the coaches who are currently on the KSU staff, co-defensive coordinator Chris Cosh, defensive ends coach Joe Bob Clements and defensive line coach Mo Latimore all previously served on Snyder's staff. And co-defensive coordinator Vic Koenning played at KSU.

Or maybe it's the addictive Cajun food at the Hibachi Hut in Aggieville in Manhattan, Kan.