Well-traveled but firmly rooted in Central Florida, Marquette Smith embarks as the first head coach for the Kissimmee Kreatures.
His gridiron travels have taken him through two colleges, three countries and six leagues, but Smith has remained a part of the area, dating back to his high school days at Lake Howell High School, where he garnered USA Todayís National Offensive Player of the Year in 1990.
The highly-recruited Smith opted to play for Bobby Bowdenís storied program at Florida State University. He was a member of the Seminolesí 1993 national championship team, but transferred to nearby UCF following a knee injury in time for the 1994 season.
Smith helped the Golden Knights make the transition from Division I-AA to I-A in his two-year career, becoming the first UCF running back to gain 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons while earning an All-American nomination in 1995.
The Carolina Panthers drafted Smith in the fifth round in 1996. He earned the starting the tailback job before suffering a torn ACL during a 1997 preseason game.
Smith then began a sojurn to regain a spot in the NFL, beginning with NFL Europeís Rhein Fire in 1988. He also had a stint with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League that year and saw time in the Regional Football League the following year.
In 2000, Smith became the first player to rush for more than 1,000 yards in any indoor league, gaining 1,053 yards and scoring 53 touchdowns for the champion Green Bay Bombers of the Indoor Football League. He played in the XFL in 2001, and following two years out of football, he joined the LaCrosse Night Train and Myrtle Beach Stingrays in 2002 and 2003.
Smith received his bachelorís degree in Business Communications at UCF and a Masters of Business Administration from Wisconsin-Madison.
He and his wife, Nicola, have three children, Whitney,15, Marquel ,6 and Marqueala, 3.