Former Wildcat Player and Coach Returns to Coach Defensive Backs
Chuck Smith, entering his eighth year as linebackers coach at his alma mater, has helped his linebackers to an impressive set of accomplishments.
Smith has produced an All-Southeastern Conference linebacker every season since 2006 and had the league's leading tackler three of the last five seasons.
Wesley Woodyard began the honors parade by being named first-team All-SEC in 2006 and 2007, pacing the league in tackles as a senior.
Braxton Kelley, Micah Johnson and Johnny Williams continued the productivity in `08. Johnson was chosen first-team Coaches' All-SEC and Kelley garnered second-team all-league laurels.
Johnson and Sam Maxwell were second-team all-league picks in `09. Maxwell intercepted six passes, most ever in one season by a UK linebacker.
In 2010, Danny Trevathan became the first first-team All-America linebacker in Kentucky history. He was second-team All-America last year. In both seasons, he led the SEC in tackles and was a first-team all-league choice.
Smith's unit helped Kentucky advance to five-straight bowl games, including three wins. Woodyard, Kelley, Williams, Johnson and Maxwell all went on to sign contracts in the National Football League.
Smith added the duties of recruiting coordinator in February, 2009. Smith's organizational abilities, football smarts and likeable personality make him a natural for the responsibility. He also serves as director of the UK summer camps.
Success is familiar territory for Smith, who is one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of Kentucky high school football. He came to UK from Boyle County High School in Danville, where he compiled a 142-33 record in 13 seasons. He built Boyle County into a juggernaut in the Class AA and Class AAA ranks, winning five consecutive state championships -- a state record -- from 1999-2003.
Smith's teams won the Class AA titles in 1999 and 2000 with perfect 15-0 records. Reclassification changed Boyle County to Class AAA in 2001, but that was no obstacle for the Rebels, as they won the crown with another 15-0 mark.
The winning streak ended at 47 games (second-longest in Kentucky history) during the 2002 regular season, but Boyle County went on to win the state championship again. The 2003 team returned to perfection with a 15-0 slate and state title. Smith's 2004 squad went 12-3, with a loss in the state finals ending the state-record streaks of five consecutive championships and 29 straight playoff victories.
Smith, whose teams were known for their work ethic and solid fundamental play, has been recognized frequently for his accomplishments. He was named the Kentucky Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations in 2003. He was chosen as the Kentucky Coach of the Year, covering all classifications, four times by the Louisville Courier-Journal (1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004) and by The Associated Press in 1999. He has won numerous other Coach of the Year honors for Class AA, Class AAA, and on the district and area levels.
Two of Smith's Boyle County players, tight end Jacob Tamme and kicker Taylor Begley, went on to great careers at UK. Tamme earned first-team All-SEC honors while Begley became one of the leading scorers in school history. Both players earned Academic All-America honors.
Born in Louisville, Ky., Smith was an all-state linebacker at Jeffersontown High School. He was a UK letterman from 1978-80 as a linebacker under Coach Fran Curci. Smith was second on the team in tackles as a senior with 133 stops and was third on the team in tackles his junior year with 95.
Smith's coaching career began as an assistant coach at Mercer County from 1983-86. His first head coaching position was in 1987 at Allen County, where he took over a losing program and posted a winning season in his only year at the school. He took over another struggling team at Campbellsville (1988-91) and orchestrated a turnaround, eventually guiding the team to a state playoff berth in his final season at the school. He left Campbellsville in 1992 to begin his record-setting stint at Boyle County.
Smith and his wife, Jackie, have two children, daughter Nikki, who is married to Kasey Jolly, and son Brandon, who played quarterback at Western Kentucky University.
Mercer County (Ky.) HS
Allen County (Ky.) HS
Campbellsville (Ky.) HS
Boyle County (Ky.) HS
Head Coach, five state championships
Assistant Coach (Linebackers), three bowl games
Assistant Coach (Linebackers, Recruiting Coordinator), two bowls