Smith, 67, was 14-19 the past three seasons at Division II Fort Lewis (Colorado) College. He was 41-21 at Louisville from 1998 to 2002, 22-26 at Michigan State from 2003 to 2006 and 4-8 at Arkansas in 2012 after replacing Bobby Petrino, his former offensive coordinator with the Cardinals.
Petrino was fired that April for misleading school officials about a motorcycle accident that revealed his mistress was a passenger. He returned to Louisville in 2014 and is 16-7 in two seasons there.
Smith replaces Josh Dean at KSU and promised during Monday's introductory news conference that he will throw the ball.
"We have to identify what we've done well in the past and adapt," Smith said.