Vols hire South Carolina's strength coach

South Carolina strength coach Mark Smith has accepted an offer to join new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin's staff in the same capacity, The State newspaper reported on its Web site late Saturday.

Smith attended Saturday's practice, but will be leaving the Gamecocks before their Outback Bowl game against Iowa. The 44-year-old is expected to resign before the Gamecocks depart for Tampa, Fla., for the bowl game.

Smith, whose salary at South Carolina is $140,000, is expected to make $200,000 at Tennessee, plus incentives, according to the newspaper.

He becomes the second member of Steve Spurrier's staff hired by Kiffin, joining former recruiting coordinator David Reaves, Kiffin's brother-in-law.

Get Copyright Permissions © 2008, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2008 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Links

Comments » 73

alavol writes:

first?

pabashia#208095 writes:

Spurrier is gonna be pissed again

orangecountry21 writes:

Hope this guy is good. Better than our current wanna be Trooper.

FightinQuaker writes:

One of the best in the biz. Check out some before and after pics of some SCar players: http://www.cockytalk.com/showthread.p...

NoogaVol55 writes:

He was with Spurrier since the UF days. We may not like SS, but he is/was a good coach who surrounded himself with top notch coaches and players. If Mark Smith was good enough for SS to take from UF, to Redskins, to SC....he is definitly good enough for me.

jturne44 writes:

in response to FightinQuaker:

One of the best in the biz. Check out some before and after pics of some SCar players: http://www.cockytalk.com/showthread.p...

I mean eric berry could potentially kill someone now...good lord...scary what he does to dudes upper bodies.

UrbanCryer writes:

keep bringing 'em coach k!! i wasnt sure about the hire. but the more i see and hear the better im likin him. anybody that gets under stevies skin is ok in my book. now lets see it on the field.

tnbigg writes:

Welcome Mark! Great strength coach! Poor Steve..."Tis' better to be pizzed off than pizzed"...however...I thinkj that's a wee (no pun intended) bit of both...I don't care how worried anybody is or was...if you can't see great dynamics taking shape...you are incapable of grasping the truth!

GO VOLS!

BillVol writes:

I'd say Lane got a 100 on his test.

pdhuff#552644 writes:

Keep adding pieces to the puzzle and we'll get this thing out of the ditch, yet.

Merry Christmas, Bigg.

hotrodvol writes:

One thing for sure, with the salaries UT is going to pay for asst. coaches, we will not have to worry about coaches leaving for other jobs.

southernson writes:

Did you hear that? Spurrier just threw his viser. LOL Good Ol Rocky top, Rocky top TENNESSEE

LostinNCVol writes:

I think we will be ok. Anybody notice Richmond won the N.C.
I think Clawson could have helped but Fulmer wouldn't let him. I bet he does well at B.G. I can't wait to see the product on the feild. We only had one real bad recruiting class. The cubbard might not be as bare as people think.
Go Vols and Coach Kiff!!

AllVol2008#1353998 writes:

in response to BillVol:

I'd say Lane got a 100 on his test.

Very, very funny, BillVol.

jadebuddy writes:

in response to KingsportVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The man is just a strength coach.Not a miracle worker!

maciste54 writes:

Lane Kiffin hasn't won a game at UT yet but he has endeared himself to me simply by immediately and now again irritating Spurrier. Hopefully the Vols can start doing it on the field as well. Go Big Orange !

Greer_Vol_22 writes:

in response to KingsportVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

there were many times I could have sworn he was throwing with his feet...

Go4Two writes:

in response to LostinNCVol:

I think we will be ok. Anybody notice Richmond won the N.C.
I think Clawson could have helped but Fulmer wouldn't let him. I bet he does well at B.G. I can't wait to see the product on the feild. We only had one real bad recruiting class. The cubbard might not be as bare as people think.
Go Vols and Coach Kiff!!

So if I understand your thinking the 2007 season where we avg. 30 points a game was also due to Fulmer not letting Cut run his offense.

eefor10c writes:

Give Coach Iffin credit. He knows how to raid a successful program of its coaches. First it was the brother-in -law QB coach whose QB's had about five more interceptions than touchdown passes. And he has decided that we may not need to get a QB this year Reaves may be superman, but...

VolinCalif writes:

in response to eefor10c:

Give Coach Iffin credit. He knows how to raid a successful program of its coaches. First it was the brother-in -law QB coach whose QB's had about five more interceptions than touchdown passes. And he has decided that we may not need to get a QB this year Reaves may be superman, but...

You are correct, and that would be $, But I believe what is impressing people about most is he is going after the best people for the job and getting them. Gee the guy is just a kid,but he sure as heck knows how to build a great staff. If his program fails it will not be the fault of lack of staff talent. This knowledge may be from Daddy but who cares. His dad is a great man so some of it should rub off on lane. This program is exciting and I love it being at UT.

leedsvol2007 writes:

in response to Kosmo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Hope he can as well but at the same time teach them they don't have to prove their manhood by participating in one!

leedsvol2007 writes:

in response to eefor10c:

Give Coach Iffin credit. He knows how to raid a successful program of its coaches. First it was the brother-in -law QB coach whose QB's had about five more interceptions than touchdown passes. And he has decided that we may not need to get a QB this year Reaves may be superman, but...

The last raid Kiffin needs to make is on Georgia to get Rodney Garner.

If Dickey had been able to be as aggressive as Hamilton in signing assistants Garner would still be with us in all probability.

I know its wishful thinking but the recruiting has not been the same since Garner's departure.

You can trace Georgia's rise from his hire there.

GoVols!

TommyJack writes:

in response to leedsvol2007:

The last raid Kiffin needs to make is on Georgia to get Rodney Garner.

If Dickey had been able to be as aggressive as Hamilton in signing assistants Garner would still be with us in all probability.

I know its wishful thinking but the recruiting has not been the same since Garner's departure.

You can trace Georgia's rise from his hire there.

GoVols!

Losing Garner was HUGE. But I suspect his next stop will be as HC somewhere.

allvol9 writes:

Welcome Mark! Great to have you on board....Go Vols!

pdhuff#552644 writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Losing Garner was HUGE. But I suspect his next stop will be as HC somewhere.

The best strength coach around here insists on 10 0z curls.

Warns that too many sets could lead to a ride-along however.

Looks like HCLK is moving right along.

Still smiling over PJ and the conquest of Ga in Athens. Guess whose next in his sights.

knucklehead_vol writes:

in response to HBKGault:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

these fl guys know they are about too a55 handed to them...they are losing tebow (well, maybe anyway), harvin, and spikes. count it down dc...

volbald writes:

in response to TommyJack:

Losing Garner was HUGE. But I suspect his next stop will be as HC somewhere.

Rodney Gardner is a wonderful recruiter but won't be a head coach or even a co-odinator at a major football school. UGA's Jim Donnan made Gardner the DC and we saw him on TV counting the players on the field fron the coachs' skybox with his fingers. Donnan still couldn't beat UT with any consistency and was fired. M. Richt knew he had a recruiting phenomenon and has gone to great pains to keep Gardner- including an emergency flight back from an all-star game to fight off a Texas offer 2-4 years ago. Dickey and Fulmer should have given Gardner a special sounding title and paid him half of Fulmer's $2 million. Fulmer would still have a job and UT would consistently be ranked in the top 5. UT has been consistently and unduely stingy with its assistant coaches - and overly generous to Fulmer. Fulmer must have convinced Dickey and Hamilton he was doing it all during the winning years.

LostinNCVol writes:

in response to Go4Two:

So if I understand your thinking the 2007 season where we avg. 30 points a game was also due to Fulmer not letting Cut run his offense.

No you don't understand my thinking. I didn't say anything about Cut. He got to run his offense. Do you think we had the players to run his offense. Not at quearteback. I think Clawsen was kept on a leash and not allowed to plow ahead. Did you not notice it started to look alot like Cut's offense at the end. Cut wasn't here though to make it work. Fulmer wasn't involved enough to handle the offense but he interfered anyway. If B.G. does well out of the gate what does that say?

allvol9 writes:

in response to DCflorida:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DCflorida....he was Florida's strength and conditioning coach when Spurrier was at Florida. Man you can't have it both ways. Obviously, this is a great hire. You seem to care way too much about UT to be a Gators fan. Try out their boards.

lewhs93#205993 writes:

For a great article on M Kiffin go to TBO.COM, CLICK ON SPORTS, and click on "WERE GOING TO MISS MONTE".Monte is loved in Tampa Bay.He won't be missed by the OC'S in the NFL, in fact, they may be paying part of his salary at TN.

shoalcreekvol writes:

in response to KingsportVol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I spent this whole season hoping the coaches would put one of the Nascar HANS devices on Crompton's helmet. That would hold his head up and force him to look at what he's doing. Also would protect him when our offensive line let one of those 300-pound DLs through at him. I was holding out hope that a weak floppy neck was the reason he threw in random directions, including at "MY A-DIDAS"...

cainclifton23 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Is there really a reason to be so negative, you have no proof of anything you say, at least give stats or facts when you are going to be negative..

Trooper was with us when we were 5 and 6 then look what he did at OSU.. yea no need to take assistants off of bad teams.

and clawson never ran HIS offense, how else would he go get a job at BG... "Yea we sucked at UT last year, but fulmer never let me fully install my offense" that had to be said at his interview

Please dont b e a Vol fan, when we start winning

CoverOrange writes:

in response to LostinNCVol:

No you don't understand my thinking. I didn't say anything about Cut. He got to run his offense. Do you think we had the players to run his offense. Not at quearteback. I think Clawsen was kept on a leash and not allowed to plow ahead. Did you not notice it started to look alot like Cut's offense at the end. Cut wasn't here though to make it work. Fulmer wasn't involved enough to handle the offense but he interfered anyway. If B.G. does well out of the gate what does that say?

I've seen several inferences that Fulmer wouldn't let Clawson run his Clawfense. I would like to know how anyone knows or is it just supposition.

I think it was Clawson's design but lack of something (brains? effort?) of the team to learn it. Clawson said he was disappointed they weren't further along coming out of spring practice. As the season progressed Clawson simplified the scheme more and more which made them much more predictable (see Georgia's defensemen comments). The last games didn't look like Cut's offense because the QBs weren't allowed to throw the ball more than 10 plays.

knucklehead_vol writes:

in response to cainclifton23:

Is there really a reason to be so negative, you have no proof of anything you say, at least give stats or facts when you are going to be negative..

Trooper was with us when we were 5 and 6 then look what he did at OSU.. yea no need to take assistants off of bad teams.

and clawson never ran HIS offense, how else would he go get a job at BG... "Yea we sucked at UT last year, but fulmer never let me fully install my offense" that had to be said at his interview

Please dont b e a Vol fan, when we start winning

arekiffinme is not a vol fan, he a fulmer fan...the only way his ridiculous , and i use this lightly, arguments have any merit is if we change the name of the university to the university of phillip fulmer. your so loyal to him, he wasn't very loyal to chavis, he gave clawson the same amount as chavis. if fulmer was so great and not selfish, HE would have taken a less amount to of money to give chavis. but no, he brought clawson in, gave him the same amount of money, thats a good friend. chavis was a lot better to fulmer than fulmer was to him. arekiffinme sounds like he wants the new staff to fail.

remember this, kiffin is the king now.

blitzshoot writes:

A good test will be starting with the offensive line that couldn't move five dead grandmothers and their six sisters.

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to Kosmo:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Very good!!!! lol

txvolsfan writes:

in response to DCflorida:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Shut up loser!!!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

IDIOT!!!

volroadwarrior writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I like Fulmer too, but he is not our coach now. I believe those who criticized him were and are even now over the top. I don't believe those who say he wouldn't allow Clawson to run his system, but he is no longer here and we need to support the new guy.

Kiffin could flame out. No one knows. But I like how he is starting out by assembling a great staff and his message to recruits.

I for one will be pulling for the Vols to win and not to lose in order to prove Fulmer should have stayed. Your comments remind me of the Fulmer haters and Johnny Majors diehards who put their hate of Fulmer before the team.

rockytop#413695 writes:

in response to lewhs93#205993:

For a great article on M Kiffin go to TBO.COM, CLICK ON SPORTS, and click on "WERE GOING TO MISS MONTE".Monte is loved in Tampa Bay.He won't be missed by the OC'S in the NFL, in fact, they may be paying part of his salary at TN.

Great article! If any of you still doubt what a great hire it was to get Monte, then just read this article. Here's the exact link http://www2.tbo.com/content/2008/dec/...

Here is a quote: "Kiffin is that good. He is Hall of Fame material. He is a legend, the only defensive coordinator ever (repeat - ever) to lead a unit that finished in the top 10 in points allowed and yards allowed 10 times in 11 seasons.

Without him, the Bucs don't turn their franchise around back in the late 1990s. Without him, they don't win a Super Bowl in 2002. Without him, they don't continue to replenish themselves year after year."

If you're really a Vols fan and that doesn't raise the hair on the back of your neck you better check to see if your blood is really orange. And if you're not a Vols fan but just love to talk junk on our boards, I'd think that quote should strike some fear into your heart. Monte will have the spread analyzed, dissected, and solved by the time the Vols visit the Swamp.

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to jcvet:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Exactly. The book on our O-linemen? Huge and strong but.....slow and out of shape. That's why we couldn't run the ball and also why we couldn't get out of our own footprints to pick up blitzes and stunts. Any increases in strength, stamina, and quickness will immediately pay off next year. Who knows, Crompton may go from absolutely horrible to just plain bad in one season! Go Vols!!!

asleep#212036 writes:

in response to DCflorida:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

DC, what should strike you is that Spurrier is not only a great coach himself, but an excellent judge of other coaches' abilities and potentials. If the guy has been kept around by Spurrier from Florida to the Redskins to South Carolina, I'd say he knows his stuff, wouldn't you? The Ole' Ball Coach certainly thinks so.

pastorlee#372395 writes:

in response to AreyouKiffinme:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Have you noticed that areyoukiffinme has come aboard and hiresanders is now gone? It's the same person. Just ignore the guy.

Triton1 writes:

in response to alavol:

first?

yeah

OdessaVol writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

we are excited about our head coach and excited about the staff he is putting together. Last I saw, Saban has a staff. Ask any HC and they will tell you how important a good staff is. If it wasn't you could make a great candidate.

LostinNCVol writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

I've seen several inferences that Fulmer wouldn't let Clawson run his Clawfense. I would like to know how anyone knows or is it just supposition.

I think it was Clawson's design but lack of something (brains? effort?) of the team to learn it. Clawson said he was disappointed they weren't further along coming out of spring practice. As the season progressed Clawson simplified the scheme more and more which made them much more predictable (see Georgia's defensemen comments). The last games didn't look like Cut's offense because the QBs weren't allowed to throw the ball more than 10 plays.

I understand what you are saying. My question is why would Bowling Green replace a winning coach with one from a program with a losing record, especialy one with a dreadful offense that is supposedly your responsibility if something wasn't going on behind the scenes

orangeinbama writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Yeah. And you think ole whiskey swillin drunk bryant did all the coaching? Wanna run down his lists of assistants? PUUUHHHLEASE...LOL you have your 2nd good season in 16 years and you question anything TN does? Delusional bama mullet idiot. STFU.

OdessaVol writes:

in response to bama987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Obviously Lane is young, no doubt. Saban had his first gig. I do like the package w/Pop and others that he brings. Who wouldn't? Also, Lane comes from good stock. His upbringing does carry some weight. The jury is out, we'll see, but VolNation has reason to be excited.

invisiblekid writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

I've seen several inferences that Fulmer wouldn't let Clawson run his Clawfense. I would like to know how anyone knows or is it just supposition.

I think it was Clawson's design but lack of something (brains? effort?) of the team to learn it. Clawson said he was disappointed they weren't further along coming out of spring practice. As the season progressed Clawson simplified the scheme more and more which made them much more predictable (see Georgia's defensemen comments). The last games didn't look like Cut's offense because the QBs weren't allowed to throw the ball more than 10 plays.

Nothing to indicate Fulmer was directly involved in the x's and o's aspect of things but there were definitely mixed signals coming from the offensive staff on personnel decisions IMO.

Found an old post that I believe backs up what I am saying to an extent:

QB
It was widely rumored that Clawson wanted to make a QB switch at halftime against UCLA. We didn't see him until game 5.

RB
What Lennon showed really forces you to go back and gameplan some things for him," Drayton said. "You get to a point where you feel like Lennon is running certain plays or doing things better than someone else, then you start to scheme personnel groups where he is more involved. That is what we are going to do.

Following those comments from the RB coach, Creer had ZERO carries against NIU.

WR
Denarious Moore has shown to be the most viable downfield threat we have had all year. Against AL, he barely gets on the field and doesn't see a pass come his way until the 4th quarter.

TE
Brandon Warren, where has he been all year?

"My packages, they're simple. I've got like about seven or eight plays in each personnel group that we have," Warren explained. "I'm squared away on the things that they asked me to know. I mean, I'm just waiting."

The common thread in all these examples is that you have guys, who by all accounts have plenty of talent, yielding to upperclassmen who all have more experience. The other common thread is a situation where the position coaches seem impressed with the newer guys, yet they seldom see the field.

utmdm writes:

in response to LostinNCVol:

No you don't understand my thinking. I didn't say anything about Cut. He got to run his offense. Do you think we had the players to run his offense. Not at quearteback. I think Clawsen was kept on a leash and not allowed to plow ahead. Did you not notice it started to look alot like Cut's offense at the end. Cut wasn't here though to make it work. Fulmer wasn't involved enough to handle the offense but he interfered anyway. If B.G. does well out of the gate what does that say?

Not sure it conclusively would say anything or not. You have different players, different competition, different set of pressure, etc. etc. We cannot get too simplistic in these evaluations. We should see what his body of work becomes over the next 4-5 years. I do wish him well though.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features