Tennessee announced on Tuesday afternoon that Ashley Smith has been promoted to Assistant Athletics Director for Player Relations and Development. Director of Athletics Phillip Fulmer announced the move in a press release.
Smith is the older sister of current Tennessee senior offensive lineman Trey Smith.
“I’m honored Coach Fulmer and Coach Pruitt have entrusted me to serve my alma mater in this capacity,” Smith said via a release. “We share a robust vision for VFL programming in order to prepare our student-athletes for life after football, and I’m excited to bring this vision to life. I am committed to helping our football student-athletes develop holistically by providing innovative programs and initiatives in the areas of leadership development, personal enhancement, community outreach, and career and professional development. It is my mission to educate, encourage and empower our young men to be leaders who embrace their position and platform as members of the Tennessee Football Family to make a positive impact on campus, the community, and their families.
“The University offers an abundance of resources for all students, and I’m excited to partner with these internal as well as external constituents. Additionally, I am looking forward to building relationships with current and former players and their families in a way that makes them proud to call the University of Tennessee ‘Home Sweet Home.'”
The older Smith takes over for former Assistant AD Dr. Mikki Allen, who was named Director of Athletics at Tennessee State in April. The position has been modified to work more closely with Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt according to the press release.
Smith will oversee the football program’s comprehensive VFL programming initiative, which includes leading player development in creating career connections for current players in order to establish professional networks that consist of alumni, supporters of the program, and business partners of the university. She’ll also assist with on-campus recruiting and develop and lead community outreach programming.
“Ashley has an extremely impressive professional track record, and she’s a born leader,” Fulmer said. “She leaves things better than she finds them. As we discussed her vision for this position over the past several weeks, she articulated a comprehensive plan to take our VFL programming to the next level.
“I talk a lot about the importance of developing our own—building leaders from within. Ashley’s a prime example of someone who bleeds orange and has worked their way up the ranks. I’m very confident in her ability to bring people together to accomplish great things because she’s already proven herself here at Tennessee.”
Smith earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and entrepreneurship collateral from Tennessee in 2013 after serving under Pat Summitt as head student manager for the Lady Vols basketball program her senior year.
After graduating from UT, Smith worked for nearly three years at the NCAA’s national office in Indianapolis, Indiana, where she helped plan and execute 19 national championships across Divisions I, II, and III. She earned a master’s degree in sport management in 2017.