Vols Look to Refocus Tomorrow

Oct. 26, 2010

Tennessee suffered from a below-par effort during Tuesday's practice in the rain according to head coach Derek Dooley, who was disappointed in the Vols' mentality as they prepare for a trip to No. 17 South Carolina on Saturday.

"I always say, the results don't define who you are," Dooley said. "But what does define you is your approach to work, what your attitude every day is and what kind of mental energy you bring to your job. So I was disappointed and hopefully we'll come out a little bit better tomorrow."

The letdown was a bit of a surprise for the Vols, who have generally had strong efforts at Haslam Field this season.

"We've been practicing good all year," Dooley said. "We haven't been really up and down in practice for the most part. We've been pretty consistent in our work and our approach. Today we weren't. It's not the first time a team hasn't had a good practice, but I hope we respond a little bit better."

Dooley doesn't expect the problems to persist, however.

"It's not allowing it. That's number one. It's what I told the team. There are certain values in the organization that will never be compromised. Never. And one of them is how you approach your work every day. The attitude you approach it with, the mental intensity you approach it with and the toughness you approach it with. When that's not to our standard, it needs to get confronted and talked about."

The Vol Network's "StadiumCast" frequency for Tennessee's game at South Carolina's Willams-Brice Stadium on Saturday will be 92.7 on the FM dial.

Fans attending the game can tune into the Vol Network broadcast at the stadium by bringing a portable radio. The "Kickoff Call-In Show" begins coverage at 10:45 a.m. Eastern time.

Former Tennessee footballer Todd Kirk was the recipient of an Oct. 15 tribute when Laurens Academy in Laurens, S.C., named its football field in his honor.



Kirk is headmaster at Laurens, located nearly halfway between Greenville and Columbia, as well as the only head football coach the school has known. The naming ceremony took place at halftime of the Crusaders' game against Wardlaw Academy.

The Laurens Academy playing surface now bears the name Todd Kirk Field.

A native of Pennington Gap, Va., near Bristol, Kirk was hired as football coach in 1999 and started the first-ever football program at Laurens Academy. The team competes in South Carolina's 8-man division and stands 9-0 this season.

Although Laurens Academy has had success under Kirk -- winning a state championship in 2006 -- this year's undefeated season has been even more gratifying.

"Our varsity team has never been here before," Kirk said. "In fact, I've never been on or coached with any team that was 9-0."

Kirk started three seasons at center for UT in the mid-1980s, when Tennessee won the 1985 SEC championship and defeated Miami in the Sugar Bowl. The 1988 graduate served as a grad assistant for the Vols from 1988-89 before moving to UT Martin as an assistant coach from 1990-96.

After a brief coaching stint at Presbyterian, Kirk became Laurens' head coach at the school where his children, Ethan and Madison, attended and his wife, Lisa, already was employed as admissions director.

Three of Kirk's former players have gone on to college careers: Michael Mims and Matt Gault at Presbyterian, and Ryland Culbertson, who currently is a deep snapper at South Carolina.



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