UT will pay strength coach to depart; more signs Ausmus to get job

Tennessee is moving forward on filling two coaching positions, men’s athletic director Mike Hamilton said Wednesday.

Hamilton said a resolution with former strength and conditioning coach Mark Smith has been reached and the process of naming his replacement is going forward.

There are growing indications that replacement will be Aaron Ausmus, a former UT track and field athlete who has been strength coach at North Texas University.

Meanwhile, Hamilton is deciding which direction to go in replacing men’s track and field coach Bill Webb, who retired last month.

One option is combining the men’s and women’s programs under a director of track and field.

Smith was hired in December by new football coach Lane Kiffin. In late May, however, Kiffin began the process of ousting Smith.

Smith balked at leaving because he wouldn’t be paid his salary if he resigned. He had a two-year agreement worth a total of nearly $400,000.

Hamilton confirmed UT will pay Smith the two years of compensation owed according to his memorandum of understanding for separation without cause.

“We’ll pay that over the remaining time, mitigated by any new job he should undertake,” Hamilton said.

Ausmus has been speculated to be the leading candidate and signs on Wednesday pointed to that. The North Texas University employment Web site advertises a vacancy for strength coach, effective June 17.

Ausmus worked at Ole Miss in 2005 when UT assistant coach Ed Orgeron was coach of the Rebels. Ausmus was also on the strength staff at Southern Cal when Kiffin and Orgeron were there in 2002-03.

Ausmus served as a part-time assistant strength and conditioning coach at UT (2000-01) and was a strength and conditioning graduate assistant with the Vols from August 1998 to January 2000.

Hamilton is also interviewing candidates for the track vacancy with options on which approach to take.

“Do we hire a men’s coach or do we hire a director of track and field?” Hamilton said.

“We haven’t resolved exactly what direction we’re going to go and in some cases, the candidates might determine that.’’

Combining the men’s and women’s track programs would be an unprecedented move for UT, at least on the field. Several administrative areas have been streamlined.

Women’s coach J.J. Clark, who has won two indoor national championships at UT, would be a candidate for director if the two teams are combined, Hamilton said.

“Some programs in the country have a director and then have combined men’s and women’s programs,’’ Hamilton said.

“There’s two sides to that equation. Some of those programs have gone on to be very successful, both the men’s and women’s programs. And in some, one or the other program may not be as successful as the other.

“So we’re reviewing. This is a time in history when we can review whether or not that’s the right thing for the university.’’

Eight SEC schools have combined programs. The only ones with separate coaching staffs are Arkansas, Alabama and, to this point, Tennessee. Vanderbilt doesn’t have men’s track.

Task Force: A university task force will be looking at athletics and to whom the men’s and women’s departments should report, it was revealed Wednesday at the UT Board of Trustees meeting.

“While the Vols are extremely successful,’’ said interim president Dr. Jan Simek, “in harder times, who knows?’’

Hamilton and women’s AD Joan Cronan were at the meeting but did not speak to the board.

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Comments » 97

NashvillePreds writes:

Do not combine the men's and women's athletic departments.

It may be hard times on the state funding side of the equation. Why would you mess with programs that funnel money into the Knoxville area, and donate money to the academic part of the University?

Use your head Simek, or go back to Swampville.

NeylandWest writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

Do not combine the men's and women's athletic departments.

It may be hard times on the state funding side of the equation. Why would you mess with programs that funnel money into the Knoxville area, and donate money to the academic part of the University?

Use your head Simek, or go back to Swampville.

They're not considering the combination of mens/womens athletic departments. They're considering placing both the men's and women's track and field under a single director...

"One option is combining the men’s and women’s programs under a director of track and field."

tums writes:

Why is Mark Smith being ousted? Does anyone know? I remember him being a big hire in December. Now he's out with "No cause" uhhh.

MaxPower writes:

They've recently combined some of the men's and women's administrative offices in the athletic department.

The full integration of men's and women's athletics could be coming. Not sure when Joan Cronan would retire (I think she's around 65 years old), but perhaps it will coincide with that.

DrJCrown_theMagicMan writes:

He was caught in his Teboows!

MrKnoxville writes:

Aaron Asmus is a VOL alumni...was with Kiffin & Orgeron at U.S.C....and went to Ole Miss after Orgeron was hired there....it is a no brainer huh?

eefor10c writes:

Take the $400,000 out of iffins pay!

MrKnoxville writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

kiffownsfla writes:

Eric berry will helpem in the mean time im sure. GO VOLS!

txvolsfan writes:

I hear that Ausmus is the man and should be hired soon!!!

GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

Great time to be a VOL!!!

MrKnoxville writes:

in response to txvolsfan:

I hear that Ausmus is the man and should be hired soon!!!

GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

Great time to be a VOL!!!

I read on a bathroom stall wall in Arkansas that if you want to squeel like a pig then DCFlorida is the man....check out him and Gatorzz in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj4Lnf...

How can you be a Gator fan when you squeel like a hog so good dudette?

99gator writes:

it appears that this is a "you can keep the cash, but you have to keep your mouth shut" deal.

while i don't believe the sky is necessarily falling or usually share the same view as dcflorida or gatorzz, this is curious.

there is no good explanation for this.

if he needed to go for legit reasons, someone was dumb enough to hire a guy who couldn't cut the mustard after 5 months.

if he wasn't let go for legit reasons, you just threw away 400k.

either way, not good. and it's not due to the media misinterpreting something, someone's grandma being too sensitive, a town being backward, or a rival being a crybaby. this buck can't be passed.

but, this too shall pass. if games are won, all will be forgotten.

DuckRiverVol writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Thanks for the links Naval... very interesting reads on the Hatch system for S and C and its history. Has anyone heard any other names besides Ausmus being thrown around? Just curious.

99gator writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

while true, except for mike price and george o'leary i can't think of a staff member who couldn't last to the season after their hire.

we know the reasons for those two.

the other example i can think of was the offensive coord at auburn last year.

but, even he made it into the season.

maybe there are other examples, but i don't know of them.

none of this will end up mattering in the end, and it's pointless to worry about a strength coach.

it's just one of those things that doesn't need to take place and makes everyone get a little uneasy.

MrKnoxville writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Tim Tebow is a great college QB....COLLEGE though....but I promise you DCFlorida....Tim Tebow is always worried where Eric Berry....ALWAYS:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zfseY...

Because Tebow fears this happening to him to keep him from becoming an NFL Tight End(note the 36 second mark):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvro9N...

And having this happen to him again...ERIC BERRY IS FAST ENOUGH TO BREAK TIM TEBOW'S ANKLES AT THE 15 SECOND MARK:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWij0B...

ERIC BERRY IS A BEAST....PERIOD!

suPEARLman writes:

Hire Tony Horton!

MrKnoxville writes:

Also notice how DCFlorida needs to wear a bra at the 32 second mark....they are sagging into his arm pits LOL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWij0B...

AGAIN...ERIC BERRY IS A BEAST....PERIOD!

rclarkfork#639958 writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You certainly showed your lack of football knowledge with that post....LOL, your mouth spews more phooey then Man of Wars backside

DuckRiverVol writes:

Ausmus would seem like the ideal candidate... He has worked with most of the staff before and has been around some of the best in the field. Not to mention he is a Vol alumni. In my opinion this is not a position to be taken lightly. The players will likely spend more time with this coach than any other during their stay on the hill.

teampenny#658108 writes:

in response to Lostballnhighweeds:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wouldn't it been easier and less messy if we would have done the right thing from the start. Honor the contract. Spin it any way you want to but UT and LK was wrong how they handled this. Glad it is over. Go Vols

Vol_atile writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

This is why they are trying him under center next year. You'll never see an option qb in the pros. Let's look at Alex Smith and Vince Young. Both losers. Why do you think Tebow will fair any better. I don't know why I asked that, you'll just come up with some of your elementary evaluations. The truth is gonna hurt come next April

Vol_atile writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

sort of like danny weurfull? Validation for a college career and .50 will get you a cup of coffee. Tebow will be another Florida quarterback bum just like all the rest. You can say what you want, but everyone knows Florida will not ever put a decent qb in the pros. I'll be on here when the nfl draft is over....bet you won't.

sidwalkvol writes:

it is really interesting how an article about athletic administration becomes a dialogue between florida fans and a couple of others who take their bait. "Tedious" is the word that comes to mind, and more tedious still that ag-gators have nothing better to do than hang out on their computers on a vol site. I pity them and I wish to heaven we could stay on topic.

Ron1967 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mark Smith turned out to be a bad hire. Who hired him?
Who has cost the AD $400,000? This debacle is all on LK. I support the new staff, but this was an unnecessary blunder by LK.

sidwalkvol writes:

in response to sidwalkvol:

it is really interesting how an article about athletic administration becomes a dialogue between florida fans and a couple of others who take their bait. "Tedious" is the word that comes to mind, and more tedious still that ag-gators have nothing better to do than hang out on their computers on a vol site. I pity them and I wish to heaven we could stay on topic.

my pun was, of course, supposed to read "agi-gators"

tums writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh the guy who had the 96 yard pick-6 off of Tebow as a true freshman in the oh-so-not-scary swamp in 2007. You know, the best defensive back in the country as a true sophomore. Now a Junior, will continue to be the best defensive back in college.

sidwalkvol writes:

in response to Ron1967:

Mark Smith turned out to be a bad hire. Who hired him?
Who has cost the AD $400,000? This debacle is all on LK. I support the new staff, but this was an unnecessary blunder by LK.

this kind of stuff happens all the time in business... granted, the money sounds like a lot to most of us working stiffs (I am a pastor; I know something of meager wages!) but in the grand configuration of college athletics, this is no big contract or buy-out. That said, there are times, and not all that rarely, when the reputation, the resume, the interview on which hires are based, all point one way--and very, very quickly it becomes apparent in actual practice that the decision was a bad one for one or more of a host of reasons (which may or may not meet the legal definition of "cause").

One of my mentors taught me--in the case of a hospital administrator who was hired and fired with a huge buyout less than a month later--that the best strategy is to cut your losses, and 400K may be less than other considerations in a program/budget of this type/size.

Don't know enough details to speculate more; frankly, neither do the rest of us.

tapeworm writes:

I no longer recognize the UT football program. The money is so crazy that the UT administrators have gone crazy to get it. I think there is a great "Silent Majority" of Ut fans out there that hope Mike Hamilton's choice of the Kiffin Mafia will prove to be prophetic but more accurately think it's a grand experiment gone horribly wrong. We'll see.

tums writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"Not fast enough"--aaaahahahahahahahah. Oh DC, what an idiot. Where is this proof of the best defensive back in the country disappearing? Oh yes, you have none. There is a chance TT wins more superbowls, riding the bench. Everyone knows he wont be an NFL starter at QB.

GreenDevilVol writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Mind your own F'N biz,PUNK !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GreenDevilVol writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I thought FOOLEY was to busy hiding behind SLIV(m)E's skirt !!!!!

Bwhahahahahahahaha !!!!!!!!

tums writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

From behind! Ahahah you ******* idiot! ahahaha. Tebag had 20 yards on him and still got blown by. Wow completely stupid!

GreenDevilVol writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

The only bake sale that will matter will be on the 19 Sept,when UT BAKES a gator in their own back yard !!! By the end of the game Ole Boy CRYER-LIAR-MEYER will be paying off the ref's for nothing and Kiffin for mercy !!!

givehim6 writes:

Will Aaron be on the job before fall practice starts?

GreenDevilVol writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Well, Well, I didnt se super man TEEBAG catching our S-MAN, TEEBAG a tight end -in-waiting !!!!!!

ERIC BERRY #1 overall in the draft,teebag 3 rd'er at best,We will see whom is the better player-draftee !!

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

in response to utwhinesalot:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lil' zzgatorboy, what you should be concerned with is the rumblings from the Florida and national press. It appears that not everyone is blind to what is going on with lil' Urbie and the Crocs. But, lil' Urbie still has his dream job in South Bend!

http://deadspin.com/5287360/a-lesson-...

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/sports...

GreenDevilVol writes:

in response to BadNewsCafego:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Wouldnt matter gang, we would destroy the Gators with any of them !!!!!!!!

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

FWIW:

utwhinesalot = Krusty_The_Kiffin = zrotag = gatorz7 = lil' zzgatorboy

He uses all of them to talk silly.

Humor him! He's on a roll tonight.

Ringleader writes:

in response to tums:

Why is Mark Smith being ousted? Does anyone know? I remember him being a big hire in December. Now he's out with "No cause" uhhh.

Simply put, Coach O wanted to run the strength and conditioning program and the weight room. Smith said no, and so forth.......all in compliance with my contract, and what I have done in the past. Smith has done nothing, absolutly nothing wrong. He now has an agreement to receive his full contract compensation with offset if he obtains other employment, so long as he says nothing derogatory about UT, Coach O, or Coach K. Now Coach O can hire the strength and conditioning Coach he wanted, and implement his plan. What a waste of money, probably over a half million thrown away.

MrKnoxville writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You're both idiots...the point is DumbC__KFlorida said Berry sucks and was slow....Berry picked off the weak under thrown Tebow pass (loss or not he did) then proceeded to break his ankles returning it for six. Tebow tried to run over Berry and Eric smashed him one on one.

Player vs. Player--Tebow throws at Berry...Berry breaks him off as he runs it 94 yds back. Tebow tries to run over Berry smashes him 4 yards back the other way.

So if with your logic zrotag & DC.....calling him Erica means player vs. player he made Tebow his slave reggin....I know you won blah, blah, blah but this is about being one on one against Tebow & Berry.

volunteer_cowboy writes:

in response to BIPOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

or Troy Aikman GO COWBOYS

GreenDevilVol writes:

"Erica has one pick because Cooper ran the wrong route. In two games, Erica has 8 tackles, one pick. That is not a BEAST, that is a gnat."

No wrong route MORON, Berry was smart and fast enough to get in FRONT of the panzy receiver.Besides where was all that blazing Gator speed,looked like Berry (SUPER BERRY) to you Gator PUNKS, just ran off with the woodshed with your panzy offensive players... Bwahahahahahahahaha !!!!!!

txvolsfan writes:

in response to MrKnoxville:

I read on a bathroom stall wall in Arkansas that if you want to squeel like a pig then DCFlorida is the man....check out him and Gatorzz in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj4Lnf...

How can you be a Gator fan when you squeel like a hog so good dudette?

That's funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

Sheesh! Coach Kiffin walks in facing the daunting task of "following a legend," hires a completely new staff, brings home a top 10 recruiting class (including the consensus #1 recruit in the country), gets the UT name on every front page and splash page in the country, has kids lined up to come to K'town to see 1st hand what is going on, and yet some of you are concerned that one of his hires did not work out.

Guys, this is not the end of the world. Coach Kiffin has done one hell of a job in a pretty short period of time. He appears to be pretty darn good ... but not perfect. (And we all know who the last perfect man was and what his legacy is!) Let's press on and see what happens in September.

Be well ya'all!

GreenDevilVol writes:

Simply put, Coach O wanted to run the strength and conditioning program and the weight room. Smith said no, and so forth.......all in compliance with my contract, and what I have done in the past. Smith has done nothing, absolutly nothing wrong. He now has an agreement to receive his full contract compensation with offset if he obtains other employment, so long as he says nothing derogatory about UT, Coach O, or Coach K. Now Coach O can hire the strength and conditioning Coach he wanted, and implement his plan. What a waste of money, probably over a half million thrown away.

Well Ring,shut up and pay up then !!!!

txvolsfan writes:

T-Blows will never play one down as a pro QB unless it is in the wildcat formation!!
or a preseason game.
You can take that to the bank, I know several NFL scouts and I am actually being kind considering what I hear from them!!!
But I really couldn't care less!!!
It's great to be a VOL

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

lil' zzgatorboy, it's past your bedtime. You better quit messin' with the 'puter and get to bed. You know how silly you start talking when you are up past your bedtime.

Sweet dreams little fellar.

Waldorf writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

About your sister's medicals bills now ain't it?

By the way, is it of the lung variety from smoking? Or caused asbestos from your run down trailer where you live? Or both?

If I was you I would be doing something to help her out instead of posting on here you douche bag.

OF course, you will just cry to KNS instead of taking up for her you loser.

GreenDevilVol writes:

in response to zrotag:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Sure will when we leave your alls asses hanging in the wind and the series is back in our favor to STAY !!!!

Enjoy your little run PUNKS its all but over !!!!

NobodyCares (Inactive) writes:

in response to Waldorf:

About your sister's medicals bills now ain't it?

By the way, is it of the lung variety from smoking? Or caused asbestos from your run down trailer where you live? Or both?

If I was you I would be doing something to help her out instead of posting on here you douche bag.

OF course, you will just cry to KNS instead of taking up for her you loser.

Are you tellin' me that lil' zzgatorboy's sister is still suffering? I thought that a week after he told us she was almost gone that some meds took affect and she was back home walking around?

And the next thing we heard was that she was back practicing with the UF girls track team. She's on scholarship you know ... 1st team javelin catcher.

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