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VFlight program set to soar at UT

Associate AD Ashley Smith leading VFL program
Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 9:02 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Tennessee football announced Monday the launch of “VFlight,” a comprehensive VFL educational and development program geared toward the success of student-athletes beyond the playing field. VFlight is being overseen by Ashley Smith, UT Assistant Athletics Director for Player Relations & Development.”I am so excited to see our VFlight program get off the ground,” Smith said. “With the resources we have at Tennessee and the intense commitment Coach Jeremy Pruitt has shown, this program is truly going to the change the lives of the young men on our football team. We are branding this program as VFlight.

The first three letters are VFL which everyone around here knows that means Vol For Life. That’s our commitment to our young men – to prepare them for a day when the game ends. When that day comes, they will still be a part of the Tennessee football family, and we will always want to see our family do well in life.”The mission of VFlight is to holistically develop Vol football student-athletes by providing innovative programs and initiatives in the areas of leadership development, personal enhancement, community outreach, and career and professional development.”Our top priority as a program is developing our players for a successful life beyond football,” head coach Jeremy Pruitt said. “VFlight will empower our players from the time they enroll to their transition into professional careers after graduation. We are excited about the vision of VFlight, and we feel all VFLs can take tremendous pride in this initiative.”

Through VFlight, football student leaders are empowered to embrace their position and platform as members of the Tennessee Football family to make a positive impact on campus, in the community, and within their families.VFlight features three foundational pillars: reVOLve, inVOLve and eVOLve.

  • reVOLve: VFlight’s personal growth and leadership development pillar. At Tennessee, everything reVOLves around the student-athlete. The abundant resources and in-depth programs exist to develop a stronger and more confident student-athlete both on and off the field. Programs include diversity and inclusion, financial literacy, mental health, nutrition and wellness, personal brand management, player development and strength and conditioning.
  • inVOLve: VFlight’s community outreach pillar. At Tennessee, we empower our football student-athletes to get inVOLved in both campus and community engagement initiatives. We also encourage them to develop lasting roots in Knoxville and Tennessee for the rest of their lives. We strive to demonstrate servant leadership, providing student-athletes with opportunities in civic engagement. Whether it is in the local community, or across the world, the Volunteer spirit aims to develop cultural competencies through sustainable service initiatives. Creating positive change and practicing servant leadership is the Volunteer Way.
  • eVOLve: VFlight’s career and professional development pillar. The cornerstone of the football student-athlete experience on Rocky Top is preparing student-athletes for life in the real world. We want our players to identify and grow in their professional calling. Whether the focus is on pursuing purposeful employment or entering the NFL, this pillar ensures each young man is prepared for success in life through internships, job shadowing opportunities, career tours, developmental workshops, and more. This is where football student-athletes eVOLve and launch a successful life.

For more information on the VFlight program, visit utsports.com/vflight.

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