According to a report from FootballScoop, Tennessee safeties and special teams coach Charles Kelly has been offered the defensive coordinator position at Maryland by head coach Mike Locksley.
“We are told Maryland expects Kelly to accept the position and a deal could be in place as early as this evening,” FootballScoop reported.
Kelly just finished his first season at Tennessee following four seasons as Jimbo Fisher’s defensive coordinator at Florida State. In 2013, Kelly was the linebackers coach for the Seminoles while Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt was the defensive coordinator.
At Florida State, Kelly’s defenses ranked in the top-25 in three out of the four seasons he was their coordinator. In 2016, the Seminoles led the country in sacks behind 16 from Demarcus Walker.
Before Kelly’s time in Tallahassee, he spent seven seasons at Georgia Tech as an interim defensive coordinator, defensive backs coach, and special teams coordinator.
It’s not too big of a surprise that Kelly is reportedly leaving for Maryland. Tennessee hired Tee Martin on Monday, becoming the 11th member on staff despite only 10 coaches being allowed to be out on the road recruiting. In order to have Martin out on the recruiting trail, one of Tennessee’s assistants had to be moved to an off-the-field role or one had to accept another job.
This season, Tennessee’s passing defense ranked eighth in the SEC and 60th nationally. The Vols allowed opponents to throw for 222.9 yards per game. Tennessee had nine interceptions as opposing quarterbacks completed 63 percent of their passes against the Volunteers’ secondary.