TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Homer Smith, described by Alabama football Coach Bill Curry as "one of the masters," took over Friday as director of a Crimson Tide offense that sputtered last season.
Smith, 56, a former Army head coach and offensive coordinator under Coach Terry Donahue at UCLA in 1980-86, was an assistant coach with the Kansas City Chiefs last season.
Alabama went 7-5 in Curry's first year as coach and failed to score a touchdown in its last two regular-season games, losses to Notre Dame and Auburn. Those performances, plus a loss to Memphis State, resulted in strong fan criticism of Rip Scherer, who moves from offensive coordinator to a new post as assistant athletic director for player development.
Smith, here for the past two days, said he had spent much of that time watching films of Alabama games. "It's too early to comment on the personnel," Smith said, "but I do like some of the people I've seen on film." He said that Bobby Humphrey, Alabama's all-time rushing leader with one season to go, "certainly stands out."
Curry said of Smith: "Here is a man who authored a book on the wishbone offense, yet knows the passing game as well as anyone. His flexibility, his expertise in so many areas of offense, will be a tremendous asset to our program."
During Smith's season at Kansas City, the Chiefs finished 24th in offense among the 28 NFL teams and went 4-11.