With the Holidays fast approaching, it’s time to list my Christmas Wishes for 2012. (I hope Santa has a really big bag this year!)
- I wish the Tennessee football program could return to its proper place in college football. U.T. is still ranked tenth all-time in winning percentage (799-354-53 68.4%) and the Vols are among the top ten teams in the 1990s, (99-22-2 81.3% ranked 5th) as well as the 1950s (71-31-4 69.2% ranked 8th) At the end of the 2001 season, U.T. was college football’s biggest winner since 1926 (General Neyland’s first season) Historically, this is a definite top ten program. Good luck Coach Butch Jones; Tennessee’s fourth head coach in the last five years.
- I wish UTC would bring back baseball to the school’s athletic department. It’s time to stop blaming Title IX for the reason the program was dropped in 1980.
- I wish Lee University the best of luck in the Flames’ transition to NCAA status.
- I wish continued success for the Tennessee men’s basketball program. Coach Cuonzo Martin is a class act and a great coach.
- I wish for a cure for Alzheimers so Lady Vols’ Coach Pat Summitt can return to coaching or at least completely enjoy her retirement.
- I wish we would stop pointing fingers and slinging the blame for the recent rash of school shootings. I don’t care what kind of gun legislation is enacted. Our schools must simply be made more secure for our children, no matter what it costs or what it takes.
- I wish the UTC softball team would schedule a series of games with the Tennessee Lady Vols. The state’s two most successful programs really need to play. What a great event that could become to promote girls fast pitch softball.
- I wish for Coach Wes Moore’s Lady Mocs basketball squad to return to the top of the Southern Conference and return to the Women’s NCAA Tournament.
- I wish Coach John Shulman’s Mocs could turn things around with a young team and really make some noise in the SoCon.
- I wish my buddy Tommy Jett would be elected to the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame in 2013.
- I wish that one of my other buddies, Darrell Patterson would stay at News channel 9 for at least another decade.
- I wish for a Southern Conference Championship for Coach Russ Heusman and the Mocs in 2013.
- I wish that UTC would hire a really good Athletic Director; one who will take the Mocs and Lady Mocs into the 21st Century. (See #2 and #7 above.)
- I wish that when I fire up the smoker to prepare turkey and barbeque for Christmas, it turns out to be the best ever!
- I wish that at least a couple of Chattanooga area high school basketball teams claim TSSAA State Championships in March.
- I wish that at least three or four baseball and softball teams do the same thing in May.
- I wish that the TSSAA would do something about its current image state-wide. I would imagine the TSSAA approval rating is only slightly better than Congress.
- I wish for South Pittsburg High School to hire a great coach to replace the ultra-successful Vic Grider, who announced he was stepping down.
- I wish that college football and basketball teams would put a salary cap on coaches’ salaries. It’s hard to justify paying a football coach millions of dollars a year, when close to 40% of our population is at or near poverty.
- And finally…….I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a happy, blessed New Year!
Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).