Chuck Smith on leaving UT: I put my heart and soul into a job

Chuck Smith on the end of his career with the Vols

Chuck Smith is still a "Vol for Life"

UT defensive line coach Chuck Smith during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

UT defensive line coach Chuck Smith during practice at Haslam Field on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

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.

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Comments » 108

springtx_vol writes:

As much as I would always like to know what goes on behind the scenes, these kinds of statements just don't do anyone any good. Did we probably know that Chuck was pushed to the side? Yes. But nothing is gained by him publicizing it.

When in this situation, the best thing for you to do is to say nothing. Leave it at, "It was a mutual decision!" if pushed. The departure did not hurt Chuck, he has all sorts of opportunities. The departure was only a minor issue with recruits before today; now it may become a much bigger issue. Be a big person and leave it alone unless someone in the administration slanders you.

RoyaltyVol writes:

there are 2 sides to every story

Biggie writes:

???????????????????? What???

pms151 writes:

Sour grapes, ya think?

SpiralBound writes:

Bummer...

dk writes:

in response to springtx_vol:

As much as I would always like to know what goes on behind the scenes, these kinds of statements just don't do anyone any good. Did we probably know that Chuck was pushed to the side? Yes. But nothing is gained by him publicizing it.

When in this situation, the best thing for you to do is to say nothing. Leave it at, "It was a mutual decision!" if pushed. The departure did not hurt Chuck, he has all sorts of opportunities. The departure was only a minor issue with recruits before today; now it may become a much bigger issue. Be a big person and leave it alone unless someone in the administration slanders you.

Good post.

give_him_6 writes:

Is that all of the interview? Kinda short for a presser of any kind. More like just an interview with KNS. I wish you luck coach Smith you were and are always ALL VOL. Dooley just wanted to go in another direction. GBO

Prostar writes:

Still not very clear. A mutual decision means you agreed with the other party, now you say you didn't agree and just stepped aside. I guess you and CJW aren't compatible. We were under-sized and under-staffed on the d-line, help is on the way. Thanks for your effort. Sometimes you truly can't go home again.

BillyVol writes:

in response to dk:

Good post.

Excellent post, we all have been there. When it happens best to walk away and have the best attitude under the circumstances, and I am referring to the work place, and this was his work.

vols2#227315 writes:

It is bad when no former UT players are allowed to coach on the UT football team.

lomas98 writes:

What was the other position he was asked to move to? His stature being too big for the program doesn't make sense. Was he asked to move to a lb coach position and didn't agree? I have never seen an asst coach call a presser to clear the air.

kabulvol writes:

Interesting. I wonder why he was pushed out exactly? "Too big for the program?" What does that mean?

Mule_Days_King writes:

So...he came back to Knoxville to hold a press conference?
Why?
Something doesn't add up.

tree_em_smokey writes:

Is this article a tease or what? Thank you Chuck for all you have done for the Orange. My view is, even when people hear both sides to the story we never really know the truth...it usually lies somewhere in the middle. GBO!!!

Cldvols1 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

We'll just agree to disagree!

PeeEllthree writes:

I love chuck, but this presser and what he is saying explains the whole issue. I wish him well.

Vol13 writes:

Chuck Smith wasn't willing to put in the long hours required to coach at a major college program and chase around high school players 24/7 trying to garner their signatures. Simple as that. Great players seldom make great coaches. Most don't even want to try because they are too established in life to have the need to do so. That doesn't mean that Chuck is a failure or couldn't do the job. He just didn't show the required penchant for doing so in a short amount of time. Chuck is a great guy. This just wasn't a good fit. You coach as a team as well.

This outburst was uncalled for, IMO.

gc_scvol writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

As usual, nobody cares what you think.

sassyladyj1974#577435 writes:

My reading of this is that they were trying to respect his time and effort given to UT and give him a position (not a coaching position) within the athletics department. I know Dooley is trying to bring back other past players and has started a VOL for Life program...maybe the position was within that program.

My bet is them saying his stature was too big for the program was a polite way of saying something else...what else, maybe his ego, maybe something else...but it sounds like an effort to respect him, instead of calling it what they think it is.

My read is that they were trying to keep him at the University and trying to respect his efforts, but that he just wasn't the coach they needed so they gave him an opportunity to serve the department in another way.

He didn't want to serve in another way so he choose to leave. He has the right to choose that, but from what I read UT did try to keep him in the program and they have a right and responsibility to pick the best coaches to lead our program.

No bad guys here as I see it. Just choices made that each felt were necessary.

volsfan74 writes:

Some of these post are absurd! First Dooley is the one that hired Chuck so to say he doesn't want a former player involved with the program is BS. Secondly this had to be a tough decision because CDD and Chuck were old high school buddies. I appreciate the sacrifice Chuck made as a player and for his hard work last year but this press conference isn't cool. Reading between the lines I think CJW and Chuck didn't get along and the fact is CJW is the DC and was his boss and I don't think Chuck liked it. I have a boss and the bottom line is if he ask me to do something as long as it's legal and NOT unethical I do it. It's obvious that there was some unhappiness but we do not need to blow this out of proportion. But Chuck if you truly LOVE this University your not going about it the right way, and don't forget this University gave you an education and helped pave a way for you to make it to the NFL.

kabulvol writes:

Oh, well that makes more sense. Some guys are great players and some turn out to be great coaches. But, it isn't a 9-5 job. This kinda explains why he was a special assistant at other places that specialized in just teaching pass rushing techniques. You can probably do that on banker hours.

jasvol writes:

in response to Dead_Head_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That is the real reason. Coach DD was trying to be classy with his 'mutual decision' statement. Now, Coach Smith comments has actually hurt himself by 'whinning' about why he was let go.

AHOUSE writes:

I got to go with cdd . He's a pretty straight guy when it comes to making decisions.

rivieravol writes:

Once again an inbred retard who has never been outside of Knox County, "Can't stand saban," proves we have one of the dumbest fan bases in America.

jimr07 writes:

in response to vols2#227315:

It is bad when no former UT players are allowed to coach on the UT football team.

Why?

jimr07 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kippy Brown was NOT an alum. get the facts right.

NO_DIGGITY writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Coming from a Fan who's team hasn't won anything since the Rutheford B. Hayes administration. Oh well, an ignorant post without much merit. Vandy let one of thier better coaches and Alumni Watson Brown go. He had a 10 and 45 record which is outstanding for the Dores. Hello Pot, this is Kettle. Bring back Watson Brown.

CCLC writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I’ve tolerated your azzhole-with-a-cause schtick as best I could. GOVolsXtra has let you promote your own blog, harangue other posters here (all of whom have shown you more courtesy than you have shown) and repeat your three talking points ad nauseum. The only thing I’ve objected to is you deliberately slandering the the coaching ability of young CDD and follow it with commentary to support your position. I have given you the benefit of doubt and implored others here to do so likewise. But I am seriously beginning to dislike sir.
just sayin'

richvol writes:

What an ego...it's no wonder he was asked to leave.

rkastens writes:

This does no one any good. CDD was trying to do this in the best way possible for Chuck. He just shot himself in the foot. Now everyone knows he was fired and he is a bitter/resentful guy. And he is the source of this information. This action out of anger/resentment or self-aggrandizement only puts him in a worse light. I would never hire or want to work with someone who pulled this.

OwensboroVol writes:

In any area of employment you are going to eventually run into a situation where a personality conflict exist. When this happens, generally speaking, the lower ranking employee is the one who leaves or makes some other form of accommodation. I, and a lot of other Vol Fans, looked to Chuck as one of the family being on the staff. I must say that I am becoming very concerned with the program at my Alma Mater.

kwcoach writes:

in response to dk:

Good post.

Yeah, good call. This was all about Chuck.

CCLC writes:

in response to OwensboroVol:

In any area of employment you are going to eventually run into a situation where a personality conflict exist. When this happens, generally speaking, the lower ranking employee is the one who leaves or makes some other form of accommodation. I, and a lot of other Vol Fans, looked to Chuck as one of the family being on the staff. I must say that I am becoming very concerned with the program at my Alma Mater.

Coach me up.... did your concern only start March 4? Seriously, Tennessee has fired a legend hired Lane Kiffen who did wonders for SEALY POSTUREPEDIC MATTRESSES stock, the NCAA has been in VOl business for awhile, baseball, football, and BP in basketball and all of the sudden you are concerned. Let me 'splain something to you! This dumpster fire didnt start with Chuckie. Get behind your Vols and hang in there.
just sayin'

The_Mayor writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"I think Chuck Smith spilled enough blood and sweat for that University he has earned the right to speak out."

But you have not, so go away.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I gotta tell you, while I understand your post are meant to anger and frustrate, I can't get past the "ramblings"...Your post NEVER make any sense to me....While I try to read and see your angle I have YET to understand them...anyway, I'm neither angered or frustrated...just confused...

Munsterlander writes:

in response to rivieravol:

Once again an inbred retard who has never been outside of Knox County, "Can't stand saban," proves we have one of the dumbest fan bases in America.

Every fan base has it's share of dimwits whose lives revolve around the success or failures of a bunch of 20-year olds and their coaches. Generalizing the comments of one of "our" dimwits to the whole Vol community suggests to me that maybe you are also part of that subgroup.

1BADVOL writes:

Chuck Smith was one of the coaches that Rex Ryan did not fire when he got to the Jets. The rest of the assistants were all canned. I cannot believe for one minute that coaching college takes more time than coaching in the NFL. There are no time restrictions as with the NCAA and most coaches sleep at the stadium offices. This was one problem Monte had. So for us to assume he did not want to put in the time is absurd. I do agree holding the press conference did no good but Chuck bleeds Orange through and through and we need to respect him for that.

The_Mayor writes:

in response to volsfan74:

Some of these post are absurd! First Dooley is the one that hired Chuck so to say he doesn't want a former player involved with the program is BS. Secondly this had to be a tough decision because CDD and Chuck were old high school buddies. I appreciate the sacrifice Chuck made as a player and for his hard work last year but this press conference isn't cool. Reading between the lines I think CJW and Chuck didn't get along and the fact is CJW is the DC and was his boss and I don't think Chuck liked it. I have a boss and the bottom line is if he ask me to do something as long as it's legal and NOT unethical I do it. It's obvious that there was some unhappiness but we do not need to blow this out of proportion. But Chuck if you truly LOVE this University your not going about it the right way, and don't forget this University gave you an education and helped pave a way for you to make it to the NFL.

On the mark with this post. Thanks

tennrich1 writes:

When you're in charge, sometimes you have to make decisions that YOU know are best but will bring on criticism etc....By the way, this is 2011 not the 1990's....with some reasoning on here we should bring back J. Majors as coach because "he played here"....

tennrich1 writes:

in response to tennrich1:

When you're in charge, sometimes you have to make decisions that YOU know are best but will bring on criticism etc....By the way, this is 2011 not the 1990's....with some reasoning on here we should bring back J. Majors as coach because "he played here"....

AND ONE MAJOR THING I LOVE ABOUT CDD...HE WILL MAKE A DECISION...

NeylandWest writes:

in response to RoyaltyVol:

there are 2 sides to every story

Three, if you include the truth.

DaddyVol writes:

Defensive Line DID NOT get it done this past year.

Even with the injuries we had, the guys that played were under coached.

Montorri got into some trouble, and it seems like a couple more guys did also.

I will always love Chuck, but maybe it's best that he is gone.

RoadTrip writes:

in response to Dead_Head_Vol:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Bingo.

Colliervol writes:

Translation: "You're too big for your britches and you don't play well with others. We'll put you in another position but you aren't staying as an assistant coach. Your choice."

Sounds like he made the choice.

GreerVol22 writes:

Ego is a strange thing and a fool with an ego is soon parted from his job.

Chuck, open mouth and insert foot. Who's gonna hire you now? Best let it be and move on. Remember, you are bigger than than yourself. wink.

utk1996 writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

He was the recruiting coordinator for a National Championship team at LSU. Saban is a sound football coach, and it is a plus to coach under good head coaches. As much as I liked Fulmer (and Majors for that matter), I appreciate the job Dooley is doing. He entered under tough circumstances and I admire the way he is trying to build the program through the recruitment and development of individuals with character. He should have the support of every true Vol fan.

BigOrangeSlim writes:

Until Coach Dooley releases a statement that tells the WHOLE truth, people will make rumors and believe the only thing they are hearing. If Derek told him he was too big I am sure there is a reason for this. If he loved the program why is he out there putting this stuff out? It only hurts the program. Even in the end Coach Fulmer put the University 1st. Now I am no Fulmer fan but Chuck could take a few lessons from him. As for Coach Dooley you can’t be vague all the time people will believe the only thing they are hearing! As my old Pappy used to say the truth doesn’t matter, what is perceived as the truth matters!

CCLC writes:

in response to 1BADVOL:

Chuck Smith was one of the coaches that Rex Ryan did not fire when he got to the Jets. The rest of the assistants were all canned. I cannot believe for one minute that coaching college takes more time than coaching in the NFL. There are no time restrictions as with the NCAA and most coaches sleep at the stadium offices. This was one problem Monte had. So for us to assume he did not want to put in the time is absurd. I do agree holding the press conference did no good but Chuck bleeds Orange through and through and we need to respect him for that.

Perhaps if he bleeds orange as you say he might have kept his thoughts to himself. I dont see how it helps The Tennessee Vols by him going public. You tell me.

easleychuck writes:

in response to CantStandSaban:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

And a little trollie like you cares, why?

To paraphrase Dean Wormer, "Son, going through life as a bottom-feeding troll is no way to go through life"

easleychuck writes:

in response to CCLC:

Perhaps if he bleeds orange as you say he might have kept his thoughts to himself. I dont see how it helps The Tennessee Vols by him going public. You tell me.

Disagree, when you put in the time required for recruiting, coaching in college takes more time.

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