LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The Washington Redskins announced Wednesday that they have named A.J. Smith as a senior executive.
Smith is entering his 29th NFL season after 14 seasons with the San Diego Chargers in various capacities. After two years as assistant general manager/director of pro personnel with the Chargers from 2001-02, Smith served as the team's executive vice president/general manager from 2003-12. His 95 wins as general manager are a Chargers record.
Smith assumed the Chargers' head role following three seasons in which the team had finished a collective 13-35 before eventually winning five AFC West titles under his direction. In his time as General Manager, the Chargers won 98 combined regular season and postseason games, fifth-most in the AFC and sixth-most in the NFL.
Smith was named the NFL's 2004 Executive of the Year by Pro Football Weekly, the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA), FoxSports.com and CBSSportsline.com. In 2006, Forbes named him its top NFL General Manager, and in addition, the magazine ranked Smith fourth overall among his counterparts in the four major professional sports leagues in the U.S. and Canada (NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB). In 2009, USA Today ranked Smith sixth on their list of the Top 20 Personnel Executives in the NFL, and Forbes recognized Smith once again in 2010, ranking him fifth on its list of the Top 10 NFL GMs.
Smith has worked in pro football since 1977, including three years in the United States Football League in the early 1980s. His NFL experience – detailed below – includes stints with the New York Giants, New England Patriots, Houston Oilers and Buffalo Bills in addition to his tenure with the Chargers. Smith served in multiple roles with the Bills during a four-year stretch in which the team won four consecutive AFC championships.
Smith is a graduate of Bishop Hendricken H.S. in Warwick, R.I., where he was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 2003. He earned a degree in health and physical education from Kentucky Wesleyan College in 1971. In February 2013, Smith was inducted into Kentucky Wesleyan's Athletics Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class.
In Washington, Smith now joins his son, Kyle, who has served as one of the Redskins' area scouts for the past two seasons.
A.J. SMITH FOOTBALL TIMELINE
1971-76 — Assistant Coach, Cranston West High School
1976 — Head Coach, Rhode Island Kings (EFL)
1977 — Part-Time Scout, New York Giants
1978 — Assistant Coach, University of Rhode Island
1978-80 — Part-Time Scout, New England Patriots
1981 — Part-Time Scout, Houston Oilers
1982-83 — Scout, Chicago Blitz (USFL)
1984 — Scout, Pittsburgh Maulers (USFL)
1985-86 — Pro Personnel Director, San Diego Chargers
1987-88 — Area Scout, Buffalo Bills
1989-92 — Assistant Director of College Scouting, Buffalo Bills
1993-00 — Director of Pro Personnel, Buffalo Bills
2001-02 — Assistant General Manager/Director of Pro Personnel, San Diego Chargers
2003-12 — Executive Vice President/General Manager, San Diego Chargers
2013 — Senior Executive, Washington Redskins