Smith sees himself as good fit on UT coaching staff

Chuck Smith doesn’t view himself as a players’ coach. And he doesn’t consider himself an all-business disciplinarian.

Smith sees himself as a mixture of both coaching styles; and that’s what he believes will make him a perfect fit as Tennessee’s next defensive line coach.

“I just don’t talk about Tennessee football from afar,” said Smith, who lettered at UT as a defensive lineman in 1990 and 1991. “I’ve lived it.”

Now, Smith seems ready to live it again. He’s talked to newly hired UT head coach Derek Dooley about joining the Vols’ staff. Smith said he expects to talk to him again soon.

Smith spent the past season assisting with the coaching of the New York Jets’ defensive line. The Jets lost Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game.

Smith established himself as an All-Pro defensive end during his career with the Atlanta Falcons from 1992 to 1999. He played one season with the Carolina Panthers before retiring after multiple knee injuries.

After his playing career, Smith worked in broadcasting before pursuing a career as a personal trainer for football players, which led him to coaching.

His most recent stop — learning the Jets’ defense under head coach Rex Ryan — has improved his stock as a coaching candidate.

“I’ve been around the world,” Smith joked. “It’s been a blessing working under coach Ryan.”

Smith insisted that he’s not on the open job market — that he’s happy on the Jets’ staff — but that UT would have an appeal.

“It would be an exciting time,” Smith said. “I’m a Vol at the end of the day.”

He has some strong ties to Dooley. The two played together at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Ga.

“He knows me,” Smith said. “He knows my family. He knows my background.”

Smith said he and Dooley share the same approach to football: be organized, have integrity and play hard and fast.

“I guess it would be a smoother transition because I know Derek and I’ve kept up with Derek,” Smith said.

Smith said a move to UT would also be easier than a move elsewhere because he is familiar with the campus and the support staff in the athletic department.

HE believes he could be a better coach in college than in the NFL because of his people skills, which could benefit him as a recruiter.

Smith has no history as a recruit, but didn’t seem swayed by a new challenge.

“I can look a parent in the eye and say ‘Guess what mom? I’ve been that same kid that your son is right now.’” he said. “I understand the importance of an education. I understand the importance of wanting your son to play at the NFL level. I want your son to have the total experience at the University of Tennessee.”

Smith pointed to his time heading up D-Line, Inc., as proof that he can develop NFL talent. While training NFL prospects, Smith is credited with helping former Vol Robert Ayers to become a first-round NFL Draft pick. He also trained former UT defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth while he was with the Tennessee Titans.

“Going into a home, I can explain what it would take if you want to get into the NFL,” Smith said. “No. 1, it’s going to take you going to class and staying out of the street.

“…When it comes to the football aspect of it, I can teach you anything you need if you buy into it. I will have no weaknesses going into any parents’ home.”

Smith said he’s not one to try to be a player’s best friend, but his experiences can help him relate.

“I don’t look down my nose at these guys,” Smith said. “They’re looking for mentors.”

While UT’s fans are looking for a savior.

Smith, along with the rest of the Vols’ fan base, has watched Tennessee’s football program get wracked by former head coach Lane Kiffin’s departure and the scramble to replace him in less than three days.

“I understand what our fans are going through right now,” Smith said. “I understand why they’re so disappointed in Kiffin, because we win championships.

“The message might have been lost over the last couple of years, but that was our mentality.”

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Comments » 40

Homermoosevols writes:

To quote Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vaction: "Bingo!"

baldfan writes:

Come on back home Chuck!

sandiegovolunteer writes:

He sounds like he is already hired!

vol49 writes:

YES! Come home Chuck!

TommyJack writes:

OK by TJ.

BibleHillVol writes:

Welcome Home Chuck, PLEASE!

chrisw2967 writes:

Bring Chuck Smith home to coach.He was an awesome pass rusher.

bigorange61 writes:

Hope you get the chance to come home, Chuck.

MTSUVOL writes:

Chuck, it is time to come home to the hill!!!!

letshave1more writes:

Hire Him! Better resume than what we just hired from Memphis!

de3cls writes:

He is what we need now and I hope he comes aboard.

vols_fan_n_tx writes:

Would be an awesome hire. Ties to Dooley, Vol football alum, NFL coaching experience with Rex Ryan. Would have great appeal with recruits. Come back to Big Orange Country Chuck!!

adamsck#591720 writes:


ut_vols13 writes:

Call him coach!!!

Stark_Vol writes:

I'm all for getting UT blood back in the coaching staff

tnsportsman writes:

Oh Yeah Baby, TENNESSEE TRADITIONS in Coach Smith! This is a must hire!


TennHillbilly writes:

Seems like Chuck is ready, so I suppose it's all dependant on whether CDD wants him or if he has someone else in mind for the position. It would be nice to have our coaches in place soon so the kids would know who their coaches were.

bigorange61 writes:

Chuck has been down the path alot of the top recruits aspire to travel. Being able to relate to these kids could be a huge asset.

Orangeblood4ever writes:

This could be good!!!!

hookkick writes:

Finally, some orange blood back on board. Good hire CDD!

txvolsfan writes:

Let's tell Dooley we had a board meeting and in a majority vote Smith is Dline coach!!!

ACWLY writes:

One of the BEST players ever to play at UT,!!!As far as I'm concerned this would be great, a HUGE hire, PLEASE TAKE THE JOB CHUCK, UT needs you!

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

This sounds great to me, too! Dooley may be waiting to hire the D-coordinator first. Are we still trying to get the Tampa Bay dude? Any word on that out there? (To sick to look up his name or remember it.)

VOLsince68 writes:

I hope this happens very soon. You would be more than welcomed back on the hill Chuck.

GO VOLS!!!!!!!

hcjournals#206623 writes:

Well, He sure as heck knows how to sell.....I say bring him on back. We need people who want to be with us. Forget the carpetbaggers. We are Tennessee.

FWBVol writes:

Chuck Smith would add the same intensity as the former D-line coach with a lot more integrity. While the other guy has only coached it, Smith has lived it. He can teach the players not only how to achieve success, but how to handle that success as well.

I think he would be a great addition to the staff and I think it will become official soon.

Hillbilly_Orange writes:

CDD, this is OUR guy to coach up the D-Line, please sir hire him!!

johnlg00 writes:

It seems he hasn't been hired yet, but no doubt such a hire would go far toward firming up CDD's Tennessee credentials as our new coach. I would LOVE to see Chuck back in the Big Orange family!

Homermoosevols writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Damn right bones never lie. Good dig Witch Doctor. THanks

TennesseeTuxedo writes:

Rex Ryan said that Tennessee has hired Smith.

RespectTradition writes:

We may be looking to hire a DC first. Seems like the defensive position coaches need to be guys the DC wants to work with or fits what he wants to do. I dunno, since we have hired other position coaches already. Either way, I hope we hire him. He was awesome! A real beast.

Go Vols!

Homermoosevols writes:

Wow, a couple of days ago it looked as if the sky was falling on Ol' Rocky Top now the future looks much brighter on the Hill. Keep the faith, If you build it they will come!

Cldvols1 writes:

Instead of Donald Trump's famous quote "ya fired," it's ya hired! GBO!!!

VOLinAthensGA writes:


Orangeblood13 writes:

come on home Big Man

BornVolDieVol writes:

It would be AWESOME to have him back!!! I have so much respect for C Smith! He is the kind of man that would be a great honor and privilege to have on staff. I certainly appreciate his understanding of the need for a mentor that these players have! Most of all I love his comment that "I'm a VOL at the end of the day"! GBO ~ Let's Bring Him Home!!

volsense writes:

Forget Eddie....I have a better quote. from the late and great Paul "Bear" Bryant "Mama called"
I hope it works out for Smith. He was often compared to Reggie White. Way to coach Dooley!

pj_ladyvolnMI writes:

in response to Witch_Doctor:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Boy, I'm right there with ya on not trusting the media after all the bogus announcements that have been made the past couple of weeks.

BillJanis writes:

I LOVE this guy! I hope we get him. He does interviews and segments on 104.5 The Zone, the sports talk in Nashville, and he's always amazing. Just last week they had him on talking about his experience growing up with Coach Dooley. He was funny, smart, outspoken, and clearly the kind of person that could recruit VERY well. He's a Vol, and his NFL credentials are great. I really hope this happens!

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