Report: Two More Changes Being Made to Vols’ Staff

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    Photo by Nathanael Rutherford/RTI

    Last offseason, Jeremy Pruitt made several changes to his coaching staff at Tennessee. This offseason has already seen two coaches leave UT’s staff and a new one hired, and now there’s reportedly going to be some more movement. This time, it’s all internal, though.

    According to both David Ubben of The Athletic and Bruce Feldman of FOX Sports and The Athletic, Joe Osovet is being promoted from Tennessee’s Director of Programming for Football to an on-field role as the Vols’ tight ends coach. Previous tight ends coach, Brian Niedermeyer, will be moving to the defensive side of the ball according to Ubben.

    Osovet was brought on as an off-field assistant under Jeremy Pruitt not long after he was hired as head coach at Tennessee. Osovet had been a successful junior college head coach previously.

    We discussed the possibility of both Osovet and Niedermeyer making these moves in this week’s mailbag, and both have now come to fruition, reportedly.

    Osovet was named the 2014 USA Sports Writers JUCO Coach of the Year for his work at Nassau Community College.

    He served as the interim head coach for Nassau Community College in 2013 before taking on the full-time role in 2014, then he left there to become the head coach at ASA College in New York.

    Osovet’s offenses in the JUCO ranks made him a hot name in the coaching world. He’s viewed as an innovator in the RPO offense that is so prevalent in college football now.

    The offenses that Osovet ran as the head coach of Nassau and ASA were dynamic and high-scoring. His offense at Nassau in 2014 averaged 35.3 points per game and upped that to 45.1 points per contest in 2015. His offense averaged 34.4 points a game at ASA College in 2016 and upped that to 41.9 points per game in 2017.

    Osovet has been critical in the Vols’ ability to snag junior college players in the last few recruiting cycles. Tennessee landed signatures from JUCO players such as Dominick Wood-Anderson, Jahmir Johnson, Jordan Allen, and Kenneth George Jr. in the 2018 class and signed Savion Williams and Darel Middleton in the 2019 class. He has relationships with several other recruits the Vols have signed and are currently pursuing.

    As for Niedermeyer, moving to the defensive side of the ball seems like a more natural fit given his track record.

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    Niedermeyer played tight end in college, but he’s primarily coached on the defensive side of the ball in his coaching career. At Arkansas Pine Bluff in 2012, Niedermeyer was a student assistant on the defensive side of the ball. At Miami in 2013, he assisted with the linebackers as a volunteer analyst. In 2015, he worked as a defensive graduate assistant and worked primarily with linebackers under Jeremy Pruitt when he was the Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator. Pruitt brought Niedermeyer with him to Alabama when he was hired as the Tide’s DC, and Niedermeyer was the director of recruiting operations and was a defensive graduate assistant who specialized in coaching linebackers.

    The only place Niedermeyer had coached on the offensive side of the ball prior to getting an on-field role at Tennessee was in 2014 at East Texas Baptist University. There, Niedermeyer coached wide receivers at the Division III level.

    With Kevin Sherrer, Tennessee’s previous inside linebackers coach and special teams coordinator, leaving the staff to take a position on the New York Giants’ staff, the Vols have a vacancy at inside linebackers. Niedermeyer will likely fill that role.

    Niedermeyer has been an ace recruiter for the Vols since Pruitt brought him on as a coach in 2018. He was named the 247Sports Recruiter of the Year for the 2019 recruiting cycle, and Niedermeyer is typically who UT places on their top four and five-star targets. He was key in the Vols landing five-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright, four-star linebacker Henry To’o To’o, four-star linebacker Quavaris Crouch, four-star cornerback Tyus Fields, four-star tight end Jackson Lowe, and three-star tight end Sean Brown.

    As UT’s tight ends coach last year, Niedermeyer earned $355,000 according to the USA Today Sports salary database. Joe Osovet’s salary is not readily available.