Steelers ST Coach Danny Smith Not Planning on Retiring Soon: ‘I’m a Lifer’
PITTSBURGH — Some coaches are just made for the game of football. If there was a coach to exemplify that on the Steelers, it would be hard to point to anyone other than Danny Smith. Smith, 68, who was hired all the way back in 2013, has been coaching football for nearly 50 years — and he has no plans of retiring any time soon.
Smith’s first job came all the way back in 1976 when he was a graduate assistant for his alma mater, Edinboro University. Smith played for Edinboro from 1972 to 1976, and Smith is a hometown guy. He played at Central Catholic, took Dan Marino under his wing, and simply knows nothing but football. He has made stops all over the coaching map but made the special teams jump in 1995 when he joined the Eagles.
The Steelers job opened up following the 2012 season, however, and Smith was the obvious choice. At his age, it could be easy to see Smith potentially moving on and sipping Pina Coladas on the beach in retirement. However, he says that will not be happening anytime soon. Instead, Smith is going to continue until he knows he simply can not go any longer. After all, the only game and thing that Smith knows is football. He has been around the game his entire life, and leaving now just does not fit his bill well.
“I’m a lifer, man,” Smith said. “I don’t have any hobbies. I’m not a golfer or a traveler. That’s a pain in the ass anymore. I don’t know what the hell I would do if I didn’t have this place and football. You probably are going to see me crawl off this field one day. I don’t have any plans. I’m good to go. I love it. I’m prepared for it. I’m forever.”
Smith is not going to walk away from the team anytime soon, and his players would not have it any other way. Gunner Olszewski is new to the Steelers, but Smith is already making a big-time statement on him. There is a myriad of traits that sticks out about Smith to Olszewski. While he may not be on Smith’s level with the gum-chewing just yet, he is certainly taking lessons from everything that Smith is telling him. Coming from a football lifer, that makes it all the more meaningful.
“It’s been great,” Olszewski said of working with Smith. “The bank of knowledge that he has, you can ask him anything. You can tell how much that dude loves football. If you ask him, he’ll say he hates football. But only people who absolutely love football will say they hate football. He knows so much about the game and is willing to share it all. You can get him going easily by talking about a punt block or field goal block. He just loves it.”
It appears that Smith is going nowhere. The Steelers are content with having Smith’s energy, and gum-chewing skills around for as long as possible. He will look to continue a string of successful seasons on special teams while trying to replace Ray-Ray McCloud’s presence at punt returner.
RELATED: Danny Smith Says Chris Boswell Will Get a New Contract Soon
Danny Smith Says Steelers K Chris Boswell Will Get a New Contract