Chuck Smith's coaching career at his alma mater is over.
But in an emotional return to campus, the former Tennessee defensive end stressed his loyalty to the program while also trying to shed light on what ended his brief stay on the Vols staff.
Termed officially by UT as a mutual decision early last month, Smith offered his side of the equation in a press conference he scheduled himself on Friday morning outside of Neyland Stadium.
"There have been a lot of questions about why I've abruptly left my alma mater as the defensive line coach and the school I love," Smith said. "I put my heart and soul into a job, and I want to let you guys know why I left. The decision to leave the University of Tennessee wasn't my decision.
"The decision was made - let me make sure I say the right thing, this is tough - a mutual decision was brought to me that I'm too big for the program and my stature is too big and I could better help serve this program in a different capacity. Stay and move to another position here or go home. I decided under the circumstances at the school I love and with the effort I put in, in fairness to the program, I probably would need to step to the side. The point is, I never agreed to step to the side."
More details later online and in Saturday's News Sentinel.