Tollackson said he reacted with “utter shock” to the news of Smith’s hiring. “Coach Smith, you have no choice but to listen to him 100 percent,” Tollackson said. “He’s been there, done that — won a national championship, five or six SEC championships or whatever. You have to listen. If you don’t, you’re an idiot.”

Donna Smith said the change had been good for both of them. “He looks better,” she said. “He’s having more fun. He’s more relaxed, and he loves what he’s doing.”