On the same day Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he expected key backcourt cogs Matt Jones and Derryck Thornton to play Thursday against Florida State, he also added another guard to the bench—this one to his coaching staff.

Former Blue Devil star Nolan Smith will join Krzyzewski’s staff as a special assistant effective immediately, the team announced Monday, launching his coaching career after a handful of seasons in the NBA and D-League.

“This is a terrific addition to the Duke basketball staff,” Krzyzewski said in a press release. “Nolan Smith is a true champion and a consummate example of the type of young man we strive to have in our program. It’s exciting to be part of his journey toward becoming a coach, and we’re so proud to have him on our staff.”

Smith played under Krzyzewski in Durham from 2007-11, earning first-team All-American and ACC Player of the Year honors as a senior. The Upper Marlboro, Md., native was part of the Blue Devil team that captured the program’s fourth national championship in 2010 in Indianapolis.

The hire was first reported by Steve Wiseman of the Durham Herald-Sun.

Smith will now get a chance to work alongside Jon Scheyer—his teammate from the 2010 championship squad—who was hired as a special assistant for the 2013-14 season and now serves as an assistant coach.

According to the press release, Smith will begin participating in staff meetings, developing game strategy and breaking down film, among other assignments. Smith has been a visible presence in Cameron Indoor Stadium and around Duke’s campus in recent months, as he has been rehabbing an ACL injury at the Duke facilities.

“I’m excited to be joining the Duke men’s basketball staff,” Smith said in the release. “This transition has been natural for me, as it combines my love for basketball and understanding of the game with my passion for mentoring student-athletes. The opportunity to start my coaching career and learn from Coach K is something I couldn’t pass up. As a member of the coaching staff, Duke fans will see the same passion I brought to the program as a player for four years.”

Smith’s debut on the Duke sidelines will likely come Thursday against the Seminoles.