Former Vol lineman Jeff Smith dies

By: Wes Boling Email
By: Wes Boling Email

KNOXVILLE (WVLT) -- Former Tennessee lineman Jeff Smith, who played for Tennessee in the late 1970's, died early Sunday after complications resulting from the flu.

Smith grew up in Knoxville and went to West High School. He was serving as an assistant coach for the middle school team at Grace Christian School, where his son played.

He died early Sunday morning after complications resulting from the flu. It's not clear whether it was the H1N1 virus.

Several members of the Grace family gathered Sunday afternoon to honor him.

Jeff Smith's family will receive friends Tuesday night from 5 to 7 p.m. at Grace Baptist Church. The funeral will immediately follow. The graveside service will be at 1:00 Wednesday afternoon at Highland Memorial Cemetery off Kingston Pike.

WVLT initially reported that another former Vol named Jeff Smith passed away. The one who died is not the tight end who played for Tennessee from 1981-85. Volunteer TV regrets the error.

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  • by Jamison Location: Nashville on Nov 24, 2009 at 01:08 AM
    Jeff was a great guy.A big man full of love for others. We would laugh about a little more Cowbell from SNL. He bought me one to Mulligans with a drum stick! Man we laughed!! Will miss you buddy! See you on the other side!
  • by Chip Location: Roswell, Georgia on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:47 PM
    Jeff was a Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brother of mine at UT, and we attended each other's weddings and exchanged family Christmas cards. He had special personal qualities that drew others to become his friends including a warm sense of humor, positive outlook on life, trustworthiness, and a calm, supportive demeanor. Jeff made everyone around him feel good and be happy to see him. These qualities are rare and are what, no doubt, made him the truly exceptional family man, friend and coach that the other commentators speak of. My wife, Debbie (also a friend of Jeff)and I extend our heartfelt condolences to his family. May we honor his memory by following his example of peace and love.
  • by Coach Kelly Liford on Sep 28, 2009 at 12:27 PM
    As a coach on the middle school staff with Coach Smith, I can tell everyone we all are better people for knowing him as a coach, person, brother in Christ and a special friend to me. He was a giving and caring person and loved everyone and always gave players the opportunity to succeed when no else gave them much of a chance. He saw things in people and players and helped them to be successful by sharing words of encouragement and his knowledge. I will truly miss my football brother and friend and heaven is a better place with him there. I love you my brother and I will never forget you.
  • by amanda Location: knoxville on Sep 27, 2009 at 04:29 PM
    Jeff was one of the most generous people I have ever met. He always made the day brighter and always spoke such kind words. He gave his undevoted attention to you while having conversations. He was a family man and loved his children. The world will really miss him here on earth but he is now worshiping the God he loved, face to face- what an awesome feeling. To his family, I am truly, truly sorry. My heart breaks for you. He is going to be missed by so many. He made such a positive impact on everyone he met.


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