Smith comes back home to Tennessee

February, 5, 2010
2/05/10
6:42
PM ET
Derek Dooley has completed his Tennessee coaching staff with one of the Vols' own.

Chuck Smith, an All-SEC defensive end at Tennessee in 1991, has been hired to coach the Vols' defensive line. Smith was also a star defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1990s and played nine seasons in the NFL. After retiring from the NFL, he worked with numerous college and pro players as part of his Defensive Line Inc. firm.

Among his pupils: Albert Haynesworth, Shaun Ellis, Ray Lewis, Richard Seymour and Osi Umenyiora. Smith worked with the New York Jets this past season as an assistant defensive line coach and pass-rushing specialist.

There are nearly 60 NFL players over the last five seasons to whom Smith has personally taught, trained and mentored in the art of defensive line play. He and Dooley go back a ways. They played high school football together at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Ga.

"I’m just excited about this opportunity to be a part of a program that believes not only in winning championships but also having champions off the field,” Smith said. "Integrity always will be one of our goals."

The recruiting part to college football will be new to Smith, who's never previously recruited. But he insists that won't be a problem.

"This is my program. I played in it and think I can sell it as well as anyone," said Smith, who also previously served on Tennessee's athletics board.

Dooley had wanted Smith on his defensive staff for some time, but waited until he hired his defensive coordinator before finalizing anything. With Justin Wilcox aboard, Dooley and Wilcox officially interviewed Smith on Friday morning and closed the deal later in the day.

Chris Low | email

College Football

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