Virginia Tech cornerbacks coach Ryan Smith has been named to the 247Sports’ 30 Under 30 College Football List.
The list recognizes rising young coaching stars in college football.
Smith is in his first season with the Hokies after spending the 2019 campaign coaching safeties and serving as the pro scout liaison at James Madison University. He previously spent two seasons as defensive backs coach at Elon (2017-18) and two years as a graduate assistant at Penn State (2015-16).
In 2019, James Madison boasted one of the nation’s stingiest defenses at the FCS level as the Dukes ranked third in scoring defense (14.9 ppg), first in total defense (264.7 ypg) and second in third-down percentage (29.0%) en route to a berth in the FCS National Championship Game. James Madison also tied for seventh with 17 interceptions, 11 of which came from Smith’s safeties unit.
The native of King George, Va., is a 2014 graduate of the College of William & Mary, earning a bachelor’s degree in process management. He also has a master’s degree in educational leadership from Penn State University.
At William & Mary,. Smith helped the Tribe to a 2009 FCS semifinals appearance. As a senior cornerback, Smith had 47 tackles, one sack and one interception. He played in 22 games at William & Mary and was a two-time CAA Academic All- Conference honoree.
Smith is among a long lineage of current coaches who played under Jimmye Laycock at William & Mary. Laycock retired after the 2018 season, his 39th as the head coach at his alma mater.
Those coaches who played for him include current NFL head coaches Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh) and Sean McDermott (Buffalo).