Former Tennessee running back Montario Hardesty has been hired by Tyson Helton to be the running backs coach at Western Kentucky according to a report from Austin Price of Volquest.
Last Monday, Helton left his position as Tennessee’s offensive coordinator and accepted the head coaching position with the Hilltoppers and quickly worked to bring on the former Tennessee running back. Hardesty is set to join the first-year head coach’s staff after serving as a Quality Control Analyst for the Vols in Jeremy Pruitt’s first season in Knoxville. Hardesty primarily worked with Tennessee’s receivers this season as well helping identify recruits.
Before joining Pruitt’s staff, Hardesty worked with Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic, serving as FAU’s running backs coach. Prior to coaching with the Owls, Hardesty was the running backs coach at Norfolk State, an FCS program.
During his playing career at Tennessee, Hardesty was one of Kiffin’s best players in 2009. The North Carolina native broke out during his senior campaign, totaling 1,647 yards and 14 touchdowns on 307 touches. Following his career in Knoxville, he was drafted in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.
As a Vol, Hardesty played from 2005 through 2009 and totaled 2,391 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns on 560 carries. He also caught 38 passes for 405 yards and a score. His 560 rushing attempts are the third-most by a Vol in a career, and his 1,345 rushing yards in 2009 are the fourth-most in a single season in school history. His 2,391 career rushing yards are the ninth-most in UT history.