Vols coaching staff looks different heading into Spring football
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee has a new look as it gets ready to chase its first Southeastern Conference Eastern Division title in a decade.
Volunteers coach Butch Jones overhauled his coaching staff after a 9-4 season that included a Music City Bowl victory over Nebraska. Tennessee also enters spring practice Tuesday needing to find a new starting quarterback and attempting to replace several notable players lost to graduation or the NFL draft.
"As we all know, it hasn't been a typical offseason," Jones said. "A lot of new faces, which I think really have lent itself in turn to a lot of new energy, a lot of new excitement and some fresh perspectives from the five new coaches."
Newcomers include wide receivers coach Kevin Beard, quarterbacks coach Mike Canales, defensive line coach Brady Hoke , defensive backs coach/special teams coordinator Charlton Warren and strength coach Rock Gullickson . The number increases to six if you add offensive line coach Walt Wells, who got a promotion after being offensive quality control assistant for Tennessee last year.
Some former assistants left of their own accord.
Offensive coordinator Mike DeBord left for the same position at Indiana , a move bringing him closer to his family. Zach Azzanni went from coaching receivers at Tennessee to coaching wideouts in the NFL with the Chicago Bears .
Other changes were initiated by Jones.
Jones opted against bringing back offensive line coach Don Mahoney and defensive backs coach Willie Martinez, who were on Tennessee's staff the last four seasons. Jones also promoted Larry Scott from tight ends coach to offensive coordinator after DeBord's departure.
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