Local coaches react to UT search

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - While all UT fans hold their breath for a new coach, Local 8 News wanted to see what a new coach could mean to our high schools.

Christian Academy of Knoxville has two players committed to UT. The hope is that the university stays committed to them, and also to building a relationship with local high schools and coaches.

The game day experience in Knoxville is one of a kind, and it's a team and tradition that stand for excellence.

"That's what everybody's passionate about, they have a huge tradition. Lot of great players, lot of great coaches, everybody is really excited when Tennessee's doing well. It's just something that a lot of people can rally around," said CAK Head Coach Rusty Bradley.

But of course, the team is still coach-less.

CAK on the other hand, is coming off a state championship. It also has two players, Josh Smith and Brett Kendrick committed to donning the orange next year.

A commitment that both told Local 8 News last month was unwavering despite the firing of Derek Dooley.

"I committed to UT. I wasn't committing to Coach Dooley, I was committing to the university because that's where I've always wanted to play at," said Kendrick.

"Of course, a commitment's a commitment to me, and I'm not breaking that. Waiting to hear the new coach and seeing what's going on, me and Brett hopefully change this thing around," said Smith.

"I think you build your program around guys who are passionate about your school, and that's what Josh and Brett are. They're passionate about playing at the University of Tennessee. That means something to them," said Coach Bradley.

And the hope is that along with rebuilding the program, the new coaching staff will build relationships with schools around east Tennessee.

"Building a relationship with the high school coaches, the high school players, that's what makes it. We know they have to go out-of-state, but you would hope the in-state talent would build your base. So hopefully that's something that will take place," said Brian Nix, the Alcoa Defensive Coordinator.

"They come by in the spring, they come by in the fall, whether a school has players or not. Just to develop the relationship with the coaches so that in case that school does have a prospect, they have a relationship with the coach to try and help with that prospect," said Bradley.

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