The roots of Tennessee versus Alabama SEC football run deep in the Trojan Nation. West Side Story would like to congratulate our strength and conditioning coach and teacher Mr. Gary Salansky. His son Matthew is the starting long snapper for the University of Tennessee. Matthew, #47, was the long snapper to snap the ball to holder Paxton Brooks for winning kicker Chase McGrath to beat Alambama 52-49 on the third Saturday in October. Matthew was also a long snapper when he played for the Trojan Nation 2015 to 2018. In this SEC archrival, it took Tennessee 16 years to beat Alabama.
Salansky insisted that the game-winning play was a team effort, commenting, “... It’s the three of them. And you can see it in everything they do, any media, any coverage or anything it’s always Matty, Paxton, and Chase. They’re really close, they spend a lot of time together, and their chemistry is just something that is very special.”
Coach and teacher Gary Salansky expresses, “It was a fun moment, and I think very historic for everybody in the state of Tennessee.” Matthew’s older brother Garret also played for Morristown West and is a dentist here in town. Matthew’s uncle Casey Woods was a specialist holder for the University of Tennessee 2005-2007. According to utsports.com, “Matthews said, ``my father is my biggest inspiration because he was my strength coach in high school and helped mold me into who I am today.``” A shout out goes to the Salansky family and the success of their sons.
Salanksy also coached Alabama powerhouse outside linebacker Brandon Fanney as a strength and conditioning coach at Morristown West. He coached Patrick Ashford, Morristown West alum, who was a holder for UT as a starter in 2014 and 2015. Ashford now coaches college football at the Virginia Military Institute. It is needless to say, the name Salansky and football are synonymous at West. Salansky wishes to Matthew, his son, a healthy and great rest of the SEC season.