NFL veterans Richard Smith and Ron Milus have been named to the Carolina Panthers coaching staff, the team announced Tuesday. Smith will serve as the linebackers coach, while Milus will work with the secondary along with Mike Gillhamer.
"Richard is a veteran coach who has experience with all phases of defense as a coordinator and has excelled as a linebackers coach," said head coach John Fox. "Ron has had success as a secondary coach for the last decade and is an outstanding teacher. We are pleased to have them joining our staff."
Smith served as defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans the last three seasons and worked in the same capacity for the Miami Dolphins in 2005. He was the assistant head coach/linebackers for the Detroit Lions in 2003 and 2004.
While working with the linebackers for the San Francisco 49ers from 1997-2002, Smith coached four players who were named to the Pro Bowl: Ken Norton, Jr. and Lee Woodall in 1997, Winfred Tubbs in 1998 and Julian Peterson in 2002.
Smith began his pro coaching career in 1988 with the Houston Oilers and coached five seasons there before spending four years with the Denver Broncos from 1993-1996. A graduate of Fresno State, he coached collegiately at Arizona, California and Cal State-Fullerton.
Milus has worked with the secondaries of four different NFL teams, most recently the St. Louis Rams from 2006-2008. In 2007, the Rams defensive backs collected 16 interceptions, the most by the team's secondary in 10 years.
Prior to St. Louis, Milus coached defensive backs with the New York Giants (2004-2005), Arizona Cardinals (2003) and Denver Broncos (2000-2002). With the Broncos, he helped cornerback Deltha O'Neal earn a Pro Bowl berth following a nine-interception season in 2001.
Milus joined the NFL after one season as the defensive backs coach at Texas A&M in 1999. That followed an eight-year coaching stint at his alma mater, Washington, where he played cornerback and was a return specialist for the Huskies.
Smith replaces Ken Flajole, who was named defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams last month, and Milus takes over for Tim Lewis, who is now the defensive backs coach for the Seattle Seahawks.