UL-Lafayette’s Melvin Smith promoted to defensive coordinator _lowres

Louisiana-Lafayette co-defensive coordinator Melvin Smith

LAFAYETTE — UL-Lafayette officially announced the move of defensive backs coach Melvin Smith to defensive coordinator and the hiring of Levorn Harbin as defensive line coach Thursday.

Not yet official is the anticipated hiring of former Auburn co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach Charlie Harbison as outside linebackers coach and co-defensive coordinator. That move is expected to be completed early next month.

Noting the decades of experience that comes with Smith and linebackers coach Mike Lucas, both of whom were hired this offseason, coach Mark Hudspeth likes the way his new-look defensive staff looks.

“I’m extremely excited with the development of our defensive staff,” Hudspeth said in a news release. “Our defensive staff right now has as much experience as most schools in the FBS. All of them have been successful and are going to be great coaches and mentors to our young men.”

Smith joined the staff in January as a replacement for Tim Rebowe, who accepted the head coaching position at Nicholls State. This will be Smith’s first coordinator job since he served as the Delta State defensive coordinator for the 1991 season.

“Melvin Smith has been long overdue for this opportunity,” Hudspeth said.

Working with Auburn the past two seasons, Smith coached a group that went to the BCS national championship game in 2013 and picked off 22 passes last season, fifth-best in the nation.

Harbin has also worked with Auburn the last two seasons as an analyst. Before that, he spent seven seasons with Tuskegee University as defensive line coach, special teams coach and recruiting coordinator.

Harbin’s hire has yet to be approved by the school’s board of supervisors.