Tennessee focuses on player development with “VFlight” program

The program focuses on personal development, community development and professional development.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — When players walk into Assistant Athletics Director for Player Relations and Development Ashley Smith’s office, it doesn’t feel like part of the football complex. It’s an escape.

“I think that environment and setting the tone is very important,” Smith said.

She said that her office is meant to set a tone like “a little touch of home.”

From inspirational quotes to a sign that reads, “Home Sweet Home,” the tone is clear.

“(If) a guy’s having a rough day, he can come in here,” she said. “Just kind of have a moment and just maybe read some things around the room and just regroup to go out and tackle whatever hurdles he’s looking to jump over.”

It’s not only in her office that she wants to help the people in the programs she runs.

Smith oversees

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