SMU Mustangs hire Miami Hurricanes OC Rhett Lashlee as new head coach

SMU has hired Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee as its next coach, the school announced Monday.

Lashlee replaces Sonny Dykes, who is leaving to become TCU's coach, according to sources. TCU has scheduled a news conference Tuesday to introduce Dykes, who went 30-18 in four seasons at SMU.

"I am humbled and excited to be returning to SMU," Lashlee said in a statement. "On the field, we want to build on the foundation of success we've established and compete for, and win, championships.''

Lashlee, 38, spent 2018 and 2019 as SMU's offensive coordinator under Dykes before leaving for the same role under coach Manny Diaz at Miami.

At SMU, he worked with quarterback Ben Hicks, the team's all-time passing leader, and then oversaw the nation's No. 7 scoring offense in 2019, as SMU won 10 games for the first time since 1984 and set a team record with 35 rushing touchdowns.

As Dykes quickly emerged as the leading candidate to replace Gary Patterson at TCU, Lashlee became the favorite to replace Dykes at SMU.

"As with previous transitions, our process was thorough and competitive. Ultimately, though, our conversations kept leading us back to one man -- Rhett Lashlee,'' SMU athletic director Rick Hart said in the statement. "Rhett's ability to connect with recruits, his passion and love for his players and his alignment with our vision and values are among the many reasons he has been selected to lead SMU football.''

Lashlee played quarterback at Arkansas and immediately entered coaching, where he became a protégé of Gus Malzahn's, later working under Malzahn at both Arkansas State and Auburn. Lashlee served as Auburn's offensive coordinator from 2013 to 2016.