GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - University of Michigan head basketball coach Juwan Howard announced Monday the hiring of former Grand Valley State University and Kalamazoo College coach Jay Smith, who will now serve as the Wolverines' director of player personnel and development.

"There are many people who have helped me throughout my career; however, Jay Smith is someone special who I have a deep connection with and the utmost respect for," said Howard. "He has such an incredible passion for the game and his ability to relate with young men is going to be something invaluable for us. We are very fortunate to have him return to Ann Arbor and join our staff."

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Smith served as an assistant coach for seven seasons with the Wolverines from 1989-96. In that span, the Wolverines appeared in six NCAA Tournaments, and Smith helped recruit the "Fab Five" which is considered one of the greatest classes ever recruited.

"There are always interesting twists in this game," said Smith. "That can be said for this situation. I have been through plenty over the last few years and loved the opportunity Kalamazoo trusted in me. However, the chance to help out Juwan and return to Michigan is something my family and I are excited about and thankful for."

Smith's first head coaching job was with GVSU in 1996-97 when he guided the Lakers to a 23-6 record, Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) regular-season and tournament championships and an NCAA Division II Tournament appearance.

With Kalamazoo College from 2016-19, Smith led the Hornets to a four-win improvement in his first season and a sixth-place finish in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association last year.

Smith also had coaching tenures in with Central Michigan University and the University of Detroit Mercy.

The Wolverines also announced they are retaining Chris Hunter as the program's director of basketball operations and added David Metzendorf as the video analyst and Jaaron Simmons as the graduate manager.


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