A.J. Smith, KWC Class of 1971, the 2004 National Football League (NFL) Executive of the Year, has taken on a role with Kentucky Wesleyan College and the football program, as announced by Director of Athletics Rob Mallory this morning. Smith will serve the Athletic Department as Senior Football Consultant. Smith’s main role will be in assessing and evaluating all aspects of the football program. A.J.’s career with the NFL spanned five decades with Washington, the San Diego Chargers, Bills, Giants, Patriots and Oilers. Smith will use his expertise in providing reports and program recommendations to the KWC Department of Athletics. Per KWC his role as an adviser will be on all matters related to the football program, Smith’s duties will include, but not be limited to the evaluation of personnel, recruiting philosophy, facility needs, and fundraising.
To further expand on Smith’s NFL experience, he most recently served as the Senior Executive of Washington in 2013 and 2014. His tenure included a 12-year (2001-12) run with the San Diego Chargers. He started in 2001 as the Assistant General Manager and Pro Personnel Director, a title he kept for two years before being promoted to the Executive Vice President and General Manager in 2003. During his time in San Diego, the Chargers finished first in the Division five times, advancing to the AFC Title game in 2008. In his tenure, the franchise won 98 games, more than any of the team’s predecessors. In total 15 players were selected to a Pro Bowl while Smith oversaw the Chargers.
His NFL experienced started in 1977 as a part-time Scout for the New York Giants. Over the years he served in the same capacity with the New England Patriots (1978-80) and Houston Oilers (1981). After a three-year stint in the USFL as a Scout, Smith returned to the NFL in 1987 as an Area Scout for the Buffalo Bills. He was elevated in the Bills organization in 1988 as the Assistant Director of College Scouting before moving on to the Pro Personnel Director in 1993. In total Smith spent 14 years with the Bills, the last seven as the Pro Personnel Director. From there, the Wesleyan grad moved to the West Coast for his tenure with San Diego.
The Panthers started the year 0-2 and will host Kentucky State on Saturday at 6 pm CT at Steele Stadium.