Former Volunteer and current defensive line coach Chuck Smith isn't just building great football players. To this former NFL star his job is about much more.
Smith has been noted for his continued efforts to encourage strong moral character with any player that he works with in his career. He is continuing those efforts at his alma mater.
"These guys have grown as young men," said Smith. "After everything happened with the fight, I wouldn't say it brought them together, but I think it grew them up."
Smith, who was referring to a July incident at a club on Cumberland Avenue, said Saturdays in Neyland Stadium are about much more than his players showing up on the field. Rather, it is an opportunity to represent their university and family.
"Understand that we have an opportunity to not only represent the University of Tennessee, but to represent our families in a positive light," he said.
Smith himself echoes his own words in his life, saying that his proudest moment will be for his family to watch as he trots out on Shields-Watkins field this Saturday.
"I think the most proud I will be is my two sons and my wife will be in the stands," said Smith. "8-year-old Chucky, my son Maddux and my wife – I have always had a dream of those guys seeing me involved in something that is a high-performance business."
For Smith, football is big business – his players as well as himself will be dressed the part.
"My guys understand that when we come to a game we are going to wear suits," said Smith. "My guys understand that when they are out in public they should be clean-shaven."
The days of wind suits and backwards ball caps are over. It appears that the Volunteers new defensive line coach won't have any part of the pre-game traditions of 2009.
"Last year, no we don't wear hats backwards and do the things they did last year," said Smith.
Andre Lott, who is the director of character development, may have found a friend in Chuck Smith. It seems the former Vol has bought into the Vol For Life program far before it ever came to Tennessee under Derek Dooley.
"I am not only preparing them to be great Vols on the field, but great Vols off the field that is our history and part of our lesson," said Smith.
Smith said his players have bought into Dooley's program and he will only continue to push the envelope for the Vols new sideline stalker.
"They have really bought into Coach Dooley's program and I am just one of the guys pushing the agenda," he said