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By LARRY VAUGHT
FRANKLIN, Ohio —Kentucky linebacker coach Chuck Smith was a guest speaker at the annual Ohio UK Convention Saturday in what has become an almost annual appearance for him with the Big Blue fans here.
He shared several things with the fans:
Question: As a coach, how do you approach a season when analysts and even some fans are predicting a losing season for your team? Do you enjoy that role?
Smith: “Kind of enjoy it, but I never let those kind of things bother me when I was a coach at Boyle County or even at Kentucky. As a coach I know what we have to do and know what we can do. That’s really all that matters and all I focus on. I don’t focus on what everybody says you can’t do or you are supposed to do. I don’t really worry too much about those things because once you start (the season), you are 24/7 and don’t have time to worry about all that other stuff.”
Question: Is that true for players or do they maybe pay more attention to what is being projected for the team?
Smith: “I don’t know. They might pay more attention to it. I think if everybody stays focused on the task at hand, then I don’t how they can be worried about everything on the outside.”
Question: Since you use the Kentucky fan support as a plus in recruiting, is this a season that the team could use even more fan support to help on the field as well as in recruiting?
Smith: “They need to keep supporting. That makes a big difference when those players come into that stadium and that fan base is up cheering. It gives them that extra motivation. Of course when it is not, it is a downer for them. I think that is way the fan base can participate and use what they can control to help us get over that hump and to the next level.
“Our history has been strong. Our fans love Kentucky basketball. They love Kentucky football. I just think that they get frustrated sometimes, but they don’t get any more frustrated than we do as a coaching staff. We just need to pull together and get this thing turned around.”