KNOXVILLE – One day after officially being hired at Tennessee, head coach Butch Jones’ staff is beginning to take shape.
As anticipated, the entire defensive staff under former coach Derek Dooley – defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri, defensive line coach John Palermo, safeties coach Josh Conklin and cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley – has been dismissed by Jones, according to a report from Volquest.com.
Running backs coach Jay Graham is expected to be retained, sources have confirmed to Nooga.com.
Jones is expected to bring offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian and defensive coordinator John Jancek with him from Cincinnati, according to FootballScoop.com, a news website that specializes in reporting coaching news. That would mean the end of the four-year UT tenure of offensive coordinator Jim Chaney.
That leaves offensive line coach Sam Pittman, wide receivers coach Darin Hinshaw and special teams/tight ends coach Charlie Coiner still in limbo. Jones’ offensive line coach at Cincinnati, Don Mahoney, has been with Jones the last six years, making him a strong candidate to come with him to Knoxville.
Tennessee had not officially confirmed any of these moves as of Saturday afternoon.
On Friday afternoon Jones said he had no staff in place, but he mentioned the possibility of bringing a few coaches from his former Cincinnati staff with him to Knoxville. He also mentioned the need to have somebody on staff that is a “Tennessee guy.” Graham, a former running back at UT (1993-96) would fit that description.
Jones said that character and the ability to be a great teacher of football would be two of the biggest qualities he would look for in assistant. He also vowed to put together an elite staff.
“I can assure that we will put together the best football staff in the country,” he said “Not just the Southeastern Conference, but the entire country.”
Meanwhile at Cincinnati, the Bearcats confirmed the hiring of Tommy Tuberville as Jones’ replacement. Tuberville had stints as the head coach at Texas Tech, Auburn and Ole Miss. He has a 130-77 career record as a head coach.