An agitated Chuck Smith, who served as the Tennessee defensive line coach this past year, took 24 minutes to speak his mind today on his departure from Derek Dooley’s staff.
Smith, who was pushed out, made it quite clear that he isn’t a big fan of Tennessee assistants Justin Wilcox, Lance Thompson, and Terry Joseph.
Smith explained, “There are rumors about dissension, about not getting along, things that in a competitive field happen all the time. Lies. Blog rumors. Vicious rumors that started earlier in the year because of petty jealously, divided a room.”
"The rumors, the lies, the smearing of my name internally from inside our defensive room were unfair."
A former Tennessee player, Smith, made it clear that he is a Vol For Life (VFL) and that it wasn’t his decision to leave the staff, a decision that Derek Dooley announced as a “mutual decision.”
Smith said, “I would like to put all rumors and negative conversations about who Chuck Smith is to the side.”
Pointing out the positive contributions he made to the program, Smith said, “I want to say congratulations to Malik Jackson for making All-Conference. Congratulations to Jacques Smith. Congratulations out to Tyler (Bray), who I’m probably closest to on that team. Congratulations to the d-line U posse, academics are up. I’m really proud of our numbers. We are who we are.”
"When I turned it up, those last 5 games, the defensive line, we were the MVP’s of the last 4 games. You didn’t know that, did you?"
“Somebody in this group (of reporters) wrote that we were the worst Tennessee team in the last 100 years, worst d-line ever. We finished #3 in the league in sacks for a d-line. We had 2 All-Conference guys, a guy that I switched from end to tackle. It is what it is.”
"I wish I could have recruited a few guys with the defensive staff."
"I signed 7 guys. No one ever said thanks. Then they created the deal online on the blogs, 'Well, who did he recruit anyway?' Who didn't I recruit is the real story?"
Smith did, however, take time to thank several coaches on the offensive side of the ball.
“Thank you to Charlie Baggett and the entire offensive staff for letting me help you recruit Cam Clear, for recruiting the guy from Michigan. Thank you to Darrin Hinshaw for passing over Gabe White, for letting us be on the phone with him to fight Auburn in just over 6 months.”
“My mentor Charlie Baggett, wish you could have done more. He’s my guy. He’s the best. Darrin Hinshaw. Jim Chaney. Thank you for letting me speak to Tiny and recruit your guys. Thank you to Charlie also for me and you going in there together, you setting me up, and you being muscle to get Majit Thanks for helping me get Majit, he’s my Derrick Thomas speed rusher. Darrin, great job with Mo Couch. We did this together. We’re in this together.”
“Gainesville twins, who are absolutely going to be two of the greatest players Tennessee has ever seen. Williams, Saulsberry, thank you.”
“Thank you Chino Fontenette, being an intern teaching me, helping me, guiding me. Thank you to Robert Nunn of the New York Giants, Steve Caldwell at Arkansas, Marion Hobby at Clemson. Thank you to all the defensive line coaches that heard rumors, all built from within a room that helped destroy a man’s career.”