OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Friday appointed Trent Smith, an ex-University of Oklahoma football player and businessman from Yukon, to the State Board of Education.

Smith will replace Kurt Bollenbach, who Stitt unexpectedly removed from the board last month.

“Trent brings a wealth of experience as a businessman, community leader and parent and I look forward to his contributions to our state’s success by putting students first," Stitt said in a statement.

Smith's appointment must be confirmed by the state Senate, and Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said he intends to carry Smith's nomination when the legislative session begins next month.

Stitt initially appointed an Enid woman to replace Bollenbach, but later rescinded the appointment at her request. Melissa Crabtree had faced fierce criticism from Democrats in the Legislature and some public education groups for social media posts in which she shared misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines.