Dean Smith began his coaching career in 2005 working with the youth players at Leyton Orient but it wasn’t long before he was appointed the club’s assistant manager, a position he occupied until January 2009.
He subsequently became head of youth at Walsall, but in January 2011, with the team nine points adrift at the foot of League One, he accepted the role of caretaker manager. He successfully lifted the club out of the relegation zone and he was given the manager’s job on a permanent basis when safety was assured. He went on to lead Walsall to the final of the Football League Trophy in 2015 before leaving to manage Championship club Brentford.
After a ninth place finish in his first season in charge, Smith substantially rebuilt the Brentford side and earned praise for creating a team that played attractive, passing football.
He was appointed as Aston Villa manager in October 2018 and took the club from 14th in the Championship to the Premier League in his first season. In 2020 he led the club to runners up spot in the League Cup.
He is a graduate of the LMA’s Certificate of Applied Management at Warwick University, a recipient of the LMA’s special achievement award, and a member of the LMA Board.