In a more-than-a-little-surprising announcement shortly before the kickoff to the Super Bowl — and before Christina Aguilera embarrassed both Rosanne Barr and Carl Lewis — Tennessee announced a significant change to their coaching staff. As we were knee-deep in dip and/or hops at the time, we missed it.
So now, we’ll unmiss it.
(Hey, if Christina can butcher the national anthem, we can butcher the English language. Again.)
According to a press release issued by the school, the Vols announced that, by “mutual agreement”, defensive line coach Chuck Smith will not return in 2011 season and will instead pursue other career opportunities. Smith spent just one season with the Volunteers.
“I am grateful for the personal investment, hard work, and passion that Chuck contributed to our program this past year,” said head coach Derek Dooley in a statement. “He is a dear friend to me, and more importantly, will always be a part of the Tennessee family.”
Interestingly, Dooley and Smith were high school teammates in the eighties and have maintained a long-time friendship, making the move that much more startling.
As far as a replacement for Smith goes, linebackers coach Lance Thompson will slide over and coach the defensive line. To fill Thompson’s positional void, the school announced that Peter Sirmon has been hired as LBs coach.