WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) Purdue has hired DeAndre Smith as its running backs coach.

Smith has spent the past 17 seasons as an assistant coach, most recently at Syracuse where he had the same title.

The Southwest Missouri State graduate also has coached running backs at New Mexico, Illinois, Miami (Ohio) and Northern Illinois.

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Smith was named the Division I-AA college player of the year in 1990 and the Gateway Conference player of the decade for the period from 1985-95. He also played one season with the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League and one season in France.

Purdue coach Darrell Hazell said in the announcement Tuesday that Smith has a special ability to develop the nation's top runners.