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College football: Thunder name Smith head coach

Robert Smith

Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet has announced that Robert Smith has been hired as head coach of the Thunder football team. Smith started the job in early April.

Smith, a Cloquet resident, served as defensive coordinator and assistant head coach during the 2018 season.

He takes over the program from former head coach Davin Depoe, who led the Thunder to a 3-6 record and a conference playoff berth last fall.

Smith, who was a starting running back at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, is also the head coach of the Thunder women's basketball team.

Smith started his coaching career while still in high school in Arcadia, Fla., and served in various assistant coach roles at high schools in Olympia, Wash., and Alexandria, Va. He was offensive coordinator and assistant coach at Vermilion Community College in Ely prior to joining the Thunder staff.

"I'm looking forward to developing and coaching our student athletes as persons, rather than focusing on just the athlete portion of playing intercollegiate sports," Smith said in a release from FDLTCC. "Developing good personal habits like studying effectively, time and financial management skills, building positive relationships and creating a plan for our players' futures will be important to our Thunder program."

Smith said he has been working on recruiting "a well-rounded roster of one-way position players for the 2019 season."