Tennessee and defensive coordinator John Jancek have “mutually parted ways,” according to a news release from the team.
“John and I had a long discussion this morning and we both came to the conclusion that it was best to part ways,” Butch Jones said in the release. “I want to thank Coach Jancek for his contributions to the University of Tennessee football program the past three years. His hard work and dedication to this program played a major role in our back-to-back bowl wins. These decisions are never easy especially for someone I have worked with at three different schools. We feel strongly about the direction our program is headed and will work diligently to find the best person available to lead our defense.”
Jancek departs after three years at Tennessee under Jones. He previously served as the defensive coordinator under Jones at Cincinnati from 2010-12 and as the co-defensive coordinator at Georgia with current UT defensive backs coach Willie Martinez in 2009 under former UGA head coach Mark Richt. Jancek’s son, Zac, is currently a walk-on quarterback for the Vols.
Jancek helped the Vols show noticeable improvement defensively in 2013, his first year as the defensive coordinator in Knoxville. Tennessee shaved over 100 yards and 11 points per game off its 2012 defensive totals – bringing some much-needed stability to a a unit that was among the program’s worst in history in 2012 and had been moved from a 4-3 to a 3-4, back to a 4-3 within a three-year span.
The Vols took another jump in 2014, especially in terms of rushing the passer – jumping from 14th to third in the SEC in total sacks with the emergence of then-freshman Derek Barnett and Curt Maggitt on the edge. Loaded with arguably his best unit since arriving in Knoxville, Tennessee finished in the middle of the pack defensively in 2015 – finishing seventh in total defense an fifth in scoring defense in the conference.
Overall, Jancek’s units finished No. 11, No. 8 and No. 7 in terms of total defense in the SEC from 2013-15, respectively after being last in total defense in 2012. The Vols were also last in scoring defense in 2012 and Jancek led them to No. 10, No. 9 and No. 5 rankings in that time period as well.
Jancek is the second coach to leave the staff this offseason, joining former tight ends coach and special teams coordinator Mark Elder, who was named the head coach at Eastern Kentucky in December. The Vols announced earlier this week that former Miami interim head coach Larry Scott will take his place as tight ends coach.
Check back with RockyTopInsider.com this week for more information on potential candidates and a defensive coordinator hot board.