Holy Cross’ Chris Smith Joins the New York Giants

Ben Kuchipudi ’25

Sports Editor

Holy Cross achieved its first undefeated regular season in over 30 years, but a huge blow was dealt to the team last week. After six years on the Holy Cross football staff, offensive coordinator Chris Smith is leaving the Hill as he accepted a position on the New York Giants staff as an assistant offensive line coach. It is a huge loss for the team, but nonetheless an unbelievable opportunity for Smith.

Before rejoining the Crusaders in 2017, he played center for them back in 2009, and was the embodiment of an iron man, starting 45 consecutive games in his four seasons playing center, a school record to this day. Shortly after graduating, Smith became the offensive line coach for Northern Colorado and then a linebackers coach for Buffalo before returning to his alma mater. During his tenure at Holy Cross, Smith helped develop a number of offensive linemen into All-Patriot League members, and in his first and only year as offensive coordinator, he took the Crusaders to new heights, scoring an absurd 37 points per game (eighth in the FCS) and averaging 245 yards (sixth in the FCS) on the ground, while helping Matthew Sluka and Peter Oliver achieve their best seasons as Crusaders. He is a major reason why Holy Cross achieved an undefeated season for the first time in over 30 years, and why they have been a Patriot League powerhouse since 2019, winning four straight league titles in that timespan. 

His experience as a run game coordinator clearly showed, as two Holy Cross players rushed for over 1,000 yards in a single season (Matthew Sluka ran for 1,234 yards and 11 touchdowns and Peter Oliver ran for 1,017 yards and eight touchdowns). He also helped Holy Cross decrease their turnovers as they ranked first in the nation in turnovers with only six. Twelve Crusaders earned All-Patriot League honors on offense, including all five offensive linemen, two of them (tackle Luke Newman and center Nick Olsofka) earning All-American honors. 

Losing Chris Smith hurts on the field, but it hurts even more off the field, as he is beloved by the coaching staff and the players as well as the rest of the Hill. Head coach Bob Chesney, who has been with Smith since he became coach, had nothing but good things to say about him. “I couldn’t be more grateful to have spent the last five years coaching with Chris – he bleeds purple and truly embodies all that it means to be a Crusader,” said Chesney. “Day in and day out, his passion for this school translated directly to new levels of success for this program.”

Smith also gave a heartfelt goodbye to the Hill: “There is no place more special in the world for my family and me than Holy Cross,” Smith said. “I cannot express enough gratitude for all that I have been given on The Hill — Holy Cross is at the foundation of all that I have gained as a football player and coach, and it is at the center of who I am today.” He then added: “My family and I will forever be Crusaders. We are unbelievably grateful for all that Worcester has given us and for how this school and city have shaped our lives. Holy Cross is the best place in the world to play college football — and we cannot wait to watch this team contend for a national championship this fall.” 

I think I speak for all of us when I say good luck to Coach Smith, thank you for everything, and Roll Saders. 

Featured image courtesy of Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Categories: Sports

Tagged as:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s