University of Tennessee on Tuesday hired Aaron Ausmus, a former Tennessee track and field All-America, to serve as the director of strength and conditioning.
The hiring of Ausmus, comes just day after Tennessee agreed to pay former football strength and conditioning coach Mark Smith up to $300,000 following his dismissal after less than six months on the job for new coach Lane Kiffin.
The Vols apparently had to compensate Smith for “firing him without cause,” the university reported, and UT’s Athletics Director Mike Hamilton declined to give a reason for the firing.
Ausmus, returns to Rocky Top after a 10-year journey through the coaching ranks included three years at Mississippi and the 2003 national championship at Southern California.
Prior to arriving Knoxville, Ausmus most recently served a brief tenure at North Texas as the head football strength coach.
Prior to joining the USC staff, Ausmus served as a part-time assistant strength and conditioning coach at Tennessee during the 2000-01 seasons and was a strength and conditioning graduate assistant with the Vols from 1998-2000.
Ausmus earned his Bachelor of Science in Education degree in Sport Management from Tennessee in 1998 and then earned his Master of Science in Education degree, also in Sport Management, from Tennessee in 1999.
As a student-athlete on the track team at UT, Ausmus was the 1997 NCAA Indoor shot put champion and a two-time All-America.