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Justin Smith may join University of Missouri coaching staff

Justin Smith


After taking a few months to contemplate his future, defensive end Justin Smith told the 49ers that he wouldn’t be returning to the field for the 2015 season.

His next step may not take him too far away from a football team, however. University of Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said at Wednesday’s installment of the SEC media days that Smith may join the team’s coaching staff. Pinkel said that Smith would work with players on conditioning if he does come aboard.

“I think he wants to get involved in the weight room a little bit with our players and help us out,” Pinkel said, via “That would be great if he can do that. He would be a tremendous asset to us. He’s from Jefferson City, the state capital, about 25 miles south of Columbia. He’s going to be living right in Columbia and we’d love to have him come back. I talked to Andy Hill, who recruited him, our quarterback coach, and we’ll see.”

Smith played three years at Missouri before becoming the fourth overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft.