Michael Smith is in a peculiar position.
Mark Stoops’ new wide receivers coach has only been on Kentucky’s campus for two months. Thursday night his new school will face his former school, Kansas State, in the Sweet 16. When he walks on the football practice field Thursday morning, he will not just be wearing Kentucky blue.
“I will be wearing blue on top, but I will definitely have purple on underneath. I’m not going to sit here and lie to you,” Smith said after this morning’s practice, Kentucky’s first spring practice in more than ten days.
You can’t blame him. Smith’s football life began at Kansas State. He worked his way from walk-on, to the Big Eight’s second-leading receiver in conference history. Once he was finished playing professionally, he returned to Manhattan where he spent 16 years on the coaching staff, most recently in 2012.
An exceptional athlete and outstanding wide receiver, Smith was great on the gridiron, but not on the hardwood.
“I was the worst black basketball player,” he laughed. “I ran track.”