Appalachian State head coach Scott Satterfield has named App alum and staff member D.J. Smith the team's outside linebackers coach.
Smith, 28, amassed 525 tackles as an App State linebacker from 2007-10 and played four NFL seasons. He returned to Boone in 2016 as the director of recruiting relations and worked last season as a senior defensive analyst.
"D.J.'s experience as a player on our team and in the NFL makes him a great fit in our defensive staff room," Satterfield said. "He's a young coach who brings a lot of excitement and energy. He knows what it's like to win championships and to win the right way."
The addition of Smith rounds out a defensive staff that includes defensive coordinator/cornerbacks coach Bryan Brown, co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach Dale Jones, assistant head coach/defensive line coach Mark Ivey and safeties coach Greg Gasparato.
"It's been a dream of mine for some time now to be a college football coach," Smith said. "I couldn't be more blessed to have my first opportunity at my alma mater. It's going to be an exciting year, and I can't wait to get started!"
A Charlotte native, Smith started the final nine games of App State's 2007 national championship run as a true freshman and had more than 120 tackles in each of his four college seasons, including two in which he earned All-America recognition. He finished his career with 50 straight starts and ranks second behind only Dexter Coakley on the career tackles list at Appalachian.
After being a sixth-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2011, he made three starts in 16 games as a rookie and started six more games the following year. He totaled 82 tackles, two sacks and one interception with the Packers before spending time with the San Diego Chargers, Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers from 2013-14.
Smith and Coakley are headliners on the list of talented linebackers who have played at Appalachian State. Kennan Gilchrist spent the 2017 season with the Houston Texans following a standout career as an outside linebacker with the Mountaineers.
A graduate of Independence High School in Charlotte, Smith is the son of Pamela Rice and Darryl Smith Sr. He has a son, Carter.