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Contract Details for Joe Osovet’s New Role

On Wednesday, Tennessee officially announced two changes to Jeremy Pruitt’s coaching staff. Pruitt promoted Joe Osovet, UT’s Director of Programming of Football, to an on-field coaching role to be Tennessee’s tight ends coach. Because of that move, Brian Niedermeyer has moved to the defensive side of the ball and will be the Vols’ inside linebackers coach.

For Osovet, this will be his first on-field coaching role at the FBS level. He’s been an off-field analyst for Tennessee the last two seasons, and he was a head coach at the JUCO level prior to joining UT. Because of that, he will be the lowest-paid assistant on the Vols’ staff in 2020.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, Osovet has been signed to a two-year contract that runs through January 31, 2022. That deal is worth just under $500,000, with Osovet due to be paid $225,000 in his first season before a slight bump in pay to $250,000 for the 2021 season.

If Osovet were to leave Tennessee before February 1, 2021, he would owe UT a buyout equal to one-third of his remaining salary on the deal. If he leaves on or by that date, the buyout is just $50,000. If Tennessee fires Osovet without cause, UT will owe him the remainder of the salary he’s due at the time of firing.

It’s unclear at the time if Niedermeyer will receive any sort of adjustment to his pay for switching roles, but he and quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke were the lowest-paid coaches on UT’s staff last season. Both Niedermeyer and Weinke made $355,000 for the 2019 season per the USA Today Assistant Coaches Salary Database.

In late June, Tennessee officially hired former Vol running back Jay Graham to be UT’s next running backs coach. Graham is slated to make $575,000 annually in his two-year contract.

“I’m excited to announce Joe Osovet as our new tight ends coach,” Jeremy Pruitt said via a release on Wednesday. “Joe’s track record as an outstanding college coach and a top offensive mind speaks for itself. He’s been successful at every stop he has been, and he’s done a tremendous job behind the scenes here at Tennessee over the last two years. He’s ready to be an on-field coach and eager to get to work. He’s an excellent relationship builder and I believe he will do a great job in our tight end room.”

Before joining the Vols, Osovet was a head coach at the junior college level. 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. He left there to become the head coach at ASA College in New York in 2016.

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.

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