By Dave Ongie, News Editor
Sherman Smith made his mark as a hard-hitting running back for the Seattle Seahawks during a seven-year playing career. He went on to become an assistant coach in the league, helping mold Eddie George into All-Pro running back for the Tennessee Titans before returning to the Seahawks, where he was part of the coaching staff that led Seattle to the 2014 Super Bowl title.
Last Friday, the man nicknamed “Tank” was in Johnson City to make a different kind of impact as he served as the keynote speaker during the Salvation Army’s annual Souper Bowl for the Hungry event. Instead of running over defenders, Smith imparted words of wisdom and encouragement to the crowd that packed the ballroom at the Holiday Inn.
The event raised around $25,000 for the local Salvation Army, money that will go towards helping those in need in our community.
Smith told those in attendance that he wanted to go into coaching first and foremost to help people. In recent years, he has taken joy in watching NFL players he coached pay it forward to the NFL stars of today.
George is a prime example. The former Heisman Trophy winner at Ohio State blossomed into a star under Smith’s tutelage. Now retired, George has mentored current Tennessee running back Derrick Henry, who helped the Titans reach the AFC championship game this season.
“It shows you the type of person that Eddie is,” Smith said. “He wants to share with Derrick the same conversations (we had) when I was coaching him.”