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Hurricanes offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee named head coach at SMU

Former Mustangs offensive coordinator spent last 2 seasons at Miami
Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee on field before game, Nov. 20, 2021
Posted at 12:54 PM, Nov 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-29 13:54:33-05

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Rhett Lashlee is returning to Southern Methodist.

Miami's offensive coordinator has been hired as the new head coach of the Mustangs, SMU athletic director Rick Hart announced Monday.

Lashlee, who spent the past two seasons at Miami, previously served as SMU's offensive coordinator during its record-setting 2019 campaign.

He replaces Sonny Dykes, who left to take the same job at Texas Christian.

"As with previous transitions, our process was thorough and competitive. Ultimately, though, our conversations kept leading us back to one man -- Rhett Lashlee," Hart said in a statement. "Rhett's ability to connect with recruits, his passion and love for his players and his alignment with our vision and values are among the many reasons he has been selected to lead SMU football. We will provide Rhett with the support and resources he needs to bring a championship to the Hilltop and are thrilled to welcome Rhett back to SMU."

Lashlee, a two-time finalist for the Broyles Award, given to the nation's top assistant coach, said in a statement that he is "humbled and excited to be returning to SMU," which he referred to as Dallas' college football team.

"My family and I look forward to engaging the community and continuing to strengthen the program's ties to the city," Lashlee said. "On the field, we want to build on the foundation of success we've established and compete for -- and win -- championships."

Miami Hurricanes offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee stands in rain during game against Virginia Tech Hokies, Nov. 20, 2021
Miami offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee stands in the rain during the second half of a game against Virginia Tech, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. Miami won 38-26.

The Hurricanes improved from No. 98 in 2019 to No. 32 in total offense during Lashlee's first season at Miami.

Prior to leaving for Miami, Lashlee helped the Mustangs win 10 games for the first time since 1984 and led an offense that ranked seventh in the country in scoring (41.8 points per game) and ninth in total offense (489.8 yards per game).

Lashlee, 38, has previously served as an offensive coordinator at Auburn, Arkansas State, Connecticut and Samford.

With the fate of Miami head coach Manny Diaz tenuous at best, Lashlee made a move that not only advanced his career, but likely brought him some job security that he otherwise wouldn't be afforded in Coral Gables.