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Smelcher, ex-BHS football head coach, added to Knox Hall of Fame


While helping star running back Johnny Majors almost win a Heisman Trophy in the mid-1950s at Tennessee, Jim Smelcher went from blocking SEC defenders to blocking out negative comments about his new high school football program.

“When I first came to Bearden we were sort of the doormat of the league … everybody called us and everybody wanted to play us,” said Smelcher, who turned around the Bulldogs program as a 10-year head coach at BHS (1964-73) and recently was nominated for Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. “One coach told me, 'We called to play you all because you all can't play.'

“We were picked at the bottom of the league the first year I was there, and we won half of our games and wound up second,” he added.



For complete story, see our print edition.




 

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