Randy Smith: The Best Coaching Jobs Turned In On Saturday

Monday, September 9, 2013 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

In week number two of the college football season, there were some fabulous coaching jobs turned in by head coaches and their assistants. Today, I’ve decided to mention some of them, as well as one of the “not-so-good” coaching examples.

First, credit goes to Tennessee Head Coach Butch Jones and his staff. Remember how bad the Vols defense was last season? In a 20-minute period in the first half of the Vols game Saturday with Western Kentucky, Tennessee forced five turnovers on five consecutive plays by the Hilltoppers’ offense. All five turnovers resulted in a total of 31 unanswered points. For the game, Tennessee collected eight turnovers as they routed the Hilltoppers 52-20. Those interceptions and fumbles gave the Vols a 31-17 lead at halftime, and even though Big Orange fans were less than comfortable with that lead, Coach Jones turned the second half into an offensive show of strength. Tennessee was methodical as they outscored Western 21-3 in the second half on their way to win number two of this still young season.

More importantly than a fumble recovery or an interception was the fact that Coach Jones referenced the heralded maxims of Coach Robert R. Neyland. The bottom line here is this; you can’t successfully coach at the University of Tennessee without understanding and utilizing the General’s Maxims.

Another great coaching job on Saturday was turned in by Mark Richt and his staff at Georgia. There was tremendous pressure on the Bulldogs who started the season ranked fifth in the polls. A loss at eighth-ranked Clemson the week before, set up a do or die situation for Georgia as they faced SEC Rival South Carolina. The Bulldogs scored a 41-30 win over the Gamecocks, as they avoided what would have been a disastrous 0-2 start to the 2013 campaign.

In the same game, we find our worst coaching performance of the weekend. It was on the South Carolina sideline, as in the middle of second quarter, a pair of Gamecock defensive coaches became involved in an all-out free-for-all. A fist fight between two coaches from the same team is certainly not the way to show team unity. It also makes Head Coach Steve Spurrier look bad as well. And “the ole ball coach” will be the first to take responsibility for the actions of his coaches.

That brings us to the best coaching performance I saw all weekend, and it had nothing to do with college football. My three-year-old grandson Coleman is playing soccer at Middle Valley this fall. From the time we arrived at the beautifully kept, and spacious park Saturday morning, we were all impressed with the youth programs at Middle Valley. Kids were playing football in one area, while others were playing fall baseball and girls softball in another. On the soccer fields, hundreds of youngsters were eagerly kicking soccer balls toward the goals, while others listened intently to their coaches.

Team Ireland is coached by veteran youth coach David Sneed, who also teaches English at Soddy Daisy High School. Coach Sneed absolutely worked wonders with a large group of three-year olds. He got them to stretch before they ever started practice, and he made every aspect of the game of soccer a whole lot of fun. He taught as he went, and the results were amazing. Of course the attention span of a three year old doesn’t last long at all. His entire practice and the “first game” of the season all lasted about one hour. Then he gave each kid snacks and something cold to drink, and told them he would see them next week.

Like many others, I had my doubts about introducing Coleman to organized sports at the age of three. But Coach David Sneed eased my concerns right away, and made things a lot of fun for all these kids……just the way it should be!  

rsmithsports@comcast.net

---

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).


McCallie Opens Lacrosse Season Saturday

The McCallie lacrosse team enters the 2015 season with high expectations. Especially after Lacrosse Magazine recently listed the Blue Tornado as one of the top 10 teams in the South. McCallie is listed No. 4 on the magazine’s ranking of southern prep teams and has this to say about this year’s squad: “The Blue Tornado (18-5) are loaded this season and expect to make a ... (click for more)

Flames Win NCCAA Mid-East Region Championship

Cory Billingsley and Jervon Johnson combined for 49 points to help the Flames capture the NCCAA Mid-East Region Championship with a 90-65 victory over Hiwassee College on Wednesday evening in Walker Arena. It was the hot-shooting of Billingsley and Johnson that propelled the Flames to a fast start and the visiting Tigers battled back on a couple of occasions but were never ... (click for more)

Snow In Today's Forecast After Balmy Wednesday; Hamilton County Schools, CCS, State Offices Closed Thursday

Temperatures were mild on Wednesday, reaching 74 degrees, but they began dropping as the day went on - leading to a winter weather advisory. The advisory went into effect at 4 a.m. on Thursday and is to continue until 4 p.m. The forecast is for freezing rain,sleet and snow. Hamilton County Schools will be closed Thursday . Officials said, "Due to the continued drop in temperatures ... (click for more)

Grand Jury Indicts Mark Kaylor In Alleged Beating Case; He Resigns From Red Bank Police; His Attorney Asks For Trial

A Red Bank officer was indicted on Wednesday by the Hamilton County Grand Jury on charges related to an alleged assault against a detainee. At the same time, Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said he had accepted the resignation of Officer Mark Kaylor. The Hamilton County District Attorney General’s Office earlier said it had reviewed the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation ... (click for more)

Women Don't Ask For Rape, They Ask For Justice

The stereotypical irrationality that women typically lie about rape has brought an enormous amount of social stigma to this population. Many like to think that rape is not a huge issue in the United States, and that the media blows it out of proportion. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that approximately 17.7 million females in America have been raped, with 108,612 ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Father Kelly’s ‘Hallelujah’

Last April, in the special way that only some older men are lucky enough to possess, the childish imp came out in Father Ray Kelly. A parish priest in Oldcastle, Ireland, he was conducting wedding vows for a handsome couple when the 62-year-old decided to surprise them with a totally-unscripted rendition of Leonard Cohen’s beautiful song, “Hallelujah.” When he did, there soon ... (click for more)