Tennessee soccer coach Brian Pensky took time during his press conference Wednesday morning to talk about another UT coach, volleyball’s Rob Patrick.
“It’s nice to see Rob getting off to a great start,” Pensky said of Patrick’s 14-1 team. “It’s been a rough couple of years for that program, but that guy just keeps plugging away. It’s nice to see the fruits of his labor.”
The two coaches passed each other later while going to and from the podium and literally reached over someone to shake hands. They were passing like ships going to and from port, freighted with the aspirations and challenges of their respective teams.
“We stay in touch throughout the year,” Pensky said. “We haven’t connected in the last couple of weeks. There’s value in that within any athletic department, within any coaching staff. Honestly, I wish we did it more.”
But there’s always seems to be more fruit requiring more labor.
“I ran into (UT men’s tennis coach) Sam Winterbotham the other day at my daughter’s cross-country meet,” Pensky said. “So it was great. We talked for 20 minutes, about recruiting, about our teams, about life. Those kinds of conversations, they’re very rich and they’re very helpful to all coaches.”
Tennessee women’s basketball assistant coach Dean Lockwood accompanied Lady Vols forward Jasmine Jones on a visit to Vanderbilt University last season as part of Jones’ recovery from concussion-related symptoms.
Lockwood took copious notes during the session. Yet one admission by a specialist who has studied concussions for 25-30 years stood out: “I don’t know everything.”
The concession spoke to the mystery surrounding such injuries. So did Jones, who punctuated her optimism this week with a cautionary “knock on wood.”
Uncertainty aside, Lockwood believes Jones is as prepared as she could be for returning after missing all but seven games last season.
“She’s in one of the best places since I’ve known her, physically, mentally and emotionally,” he said.
Jones updates her return in Sunday’s editions of the News Sentinel and online at govolsxtra.com.
— Former Lady Vols guard Ariel Massengale remains on campus rehabbing from microfracture surgery on her left knee. The surgery took place in the spring, after her senior season, and sidelined Massengale for her inaugural WNBA season. She was picked by Atlanta in the third round of the league’s draft in April. Massengale said she plans to play overseas, beginning in January.