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Tennessee Head Football Coach Hot Board

Sought-After Assistants

(Photo via CBS Sports)

Georgia took a risk on Kirby Smart prior to the 2016 season and hired him away from Alabama despite his lack of head coaching experience. So far it’s worked out for them just fine. Just about every year there are at least one or two coordinators on Power Five staffs who get the call to make their debuts as head coaches. These are the assistants most likely to draw Tennessee’s eye.

Greg Schiano

Quick Bio: Greg Schiano is one of the more interesting names on this hot board. He has head coaching experience in both the collegiate and NFL level, but he’s currently an assistant head coach and defensive coordinator for Ohio State. He was an assistant at Penn State, moved on to be an assistant for the Chicago Bears in the NFL, and came back to college to be the defensive coordinator for Miami before taking the head coaching job at Rutgers. He then left Rutgers to be the head coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFL, and then he was let go from there and joined Urban Meyer’s staff at Ohio State.

Pros: Schiano has seen just about everything a coach can see. He had major success at Rutgers, a place that had largely been a wasteland since the mid-1980s. Schiano led Rutgers to an 11-win season in 2006 and helped them win four consecutive bowl games from 2006-09. In fact, in his 11 seasons with Rutgers, he took them to six bowl games. They had made it to a grand total of one bowl game in the 30 years prior to Schiano taking over.

Cons/Questions: Though he had success at Rutgers, that’s been Schiano’s only head coaching stop in college. He was a major failure in his two seasons with Tampa Bay in the NFL, but he’s also come back and been successful as Ohio State’s defensive coordinator. But can he succeed as a head coach at a big time school?

Brent Venables

Quick Bio: If you’re looking for one of the hottest names in the assistant coaching ranks, look no further than Brent Venables. He’s been Clemson’s defensive coordinator since 2012, and he’s helped the Tigers win a national title and appear in two consecutive championship games.

Pros: Venables’ defenses have been some of the best in the nation at Clemson. He also made Oklahoma’s defense something to be feared from 1999 to 2011.

Cons/Questions: No head coaching experience should raise a lot of eyebrows, but if you’re going to take a risk on someone who is an assistant without head coaching experience who doesn’t have Tennessee ties, Venables is about as good as you can get.

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2 Responses

  1. The fans have to be there for the team and show them that we are still Vols. We cannot forget how hard this has been on them. We need to show up and make them proud that they came to UT and give the future Vols a reason to hope. GBO

  2. Jimbo was a Nick Saban assistant. So Kirby wasn’t the first successful Saban assistant

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