Earlier today, it was reported that safeties coach and special teams coordinator Charles Kelly turned down Maryland’s offer to be their next defensive coordinator and will be staying with the Vols. But the same can’t be said for one of UT’s other assistant coaches.
John Lilly was hired by Jeremy Pruitt to serve as the Assistant to the Head Coach prior to the 2018 season. Now, he’s reportedly leaving UT to go back to the NFL.
According to Alex Marvez, a SiriusXM NFL Radio host, Lilly will be leaving Tennessee to go coach tight ends for the Cleveland Browns. Lilly previously spent the 2016 season coaching tight ends for the Los Angeles Rams.
Before coming to Tennessee, not only did Lilly spend time with the Rams in the NFL, but he coached in the college ranks for several years. He was Georgia’s tight ends coach from 2008 through 2015 before Mark Richt was let go as the Bulldogs’ head coach. Before he joined Georgia’s staff, he coached tight ends and served as recruiting coordinator for Florida State from 1998 through 2007.
While at Georgia, Lilly was twice called upon to serve as the Bulldogs’ interim offensive coordinator, serving that role in Georgia’s bowl games after the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
Lilly was not an on-field coach for Tennessee, so this move doesn’t free up a space for reported new hire Tee Martin. The former Tennessee quarterback and former USC offensive coordinator has yet to officially be introduced as a member of UT’s coaching staff because the Vols don’t currently have a vacancy for an on-field coaching position.