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Contract Details Revealed for Vols’ Two New Assistants

(Photo via Colorado Athletics)

On Friday, Tennessee finally officially announced the hires of two new assistants to Jeremy Pruitt’s staff. Now, the contract details for both coaches have been revealed.

Tennessee and Jeremy Pruitt officially welcomed in co-defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh and outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton on Friday. Both coaches have received a significant pay raise from their previous jobs at Colorado and Akron, respectively.

Per the memorandum of understandings for both coaches, Brumbaugh and Felton have signed two-year deals that run through the end of January 2022. Two-year contracts have been the standard deal for non-coordinator assistants at Tennessee under head coach Jeremy Pruitt.

For Brumbaugh, his two-year deal is worth $1.3 million, giving him an annual salary of $650,000. Felton’s deal is worth $475,000 in total, and he will make $225,000 in 2020 and $250,000 in 2021.

At Colorado last season, Brumbaugh made $175,000. His salary was set to sky-rocket to $450,000 in 2020, however. But after head coach Mel Tucker left for Michigan State, Brumbaugh elected to move on to a different program. At Akron, Felton made $110,000 in his one and only season with the Zips.

Brumbaugh is making more than his predecessor at Tennessee while Felton will be making less than the coach he is replacing.

Former defensive line coach Tracy Rocker — who is now at South Carolina — earned $500,000 per year in his two years at Tennessee. Former outside linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator Chris Rumph — who is now with the Houston Texans in the NFL — made $800,000 the last two years.

In total, the two coaches will be making slightly less combined money than their predecessors at Tennessee. Rocker and Rumph combined to earn $1.3 million annually as UT’s assistants while Brumbaugh and Felton will earn $875,000 combined in 2020 and a combined $900,000 in 2021.

Both the buyout information and the incentive structures for Brumbaugh’s and Felton’s contracts are standard for UT’s assistant coaches. If either coach leaves Tennessee before February 1, 2021, they will owe UT 33 percent of their remaining base salary. The buyout drops to $50,000 after the same date in 2022, however.

On the other hand, if Tennessee lets go of either coach before their contract is up, UT would owe them the entirety of their remaining salary, though that buyout would be mitigated by the salary they would earn at a new job.

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All in all, it was another costly offseason for Tennessee, but not nearly as much as last offseason when the Vols signed Jim Chaney and Derrick Ansley to deals worth $1 million-plus annually each.

Brumbaugh and Felton weren’t the only new coaches brought in to Tennessee this offseason. The Vols also brought back former Vol running back Jay Graham to coach running backs at UT. He’s set to make $575,000 in his first year of his two-year deal. Joe Osovet was promoted to an on-field role as Tennessee’s tight ends coach, and his deal is structured exactly like Felton’s, totaling $475,000 over two years with Osovet making $225,000 in 2020 and $250,000 in 2021.

Brian Niedermeyer shifted roles on UT’s staff, moving from tight ends coach to inside linebackers coach. It has not been announced if Niedermeyer has received a raise for his move, but he made $355,000 in his role last year with the Vols.

Brumbaugh has coached the defensive line at Colorado, Maryland, Kentucky, East Mississippi Community College, Syracuse, Louisiana Tech, and Chattanooga. He’s also served as a co-defensive coordinator previously and was the strength and conditioning coordinator at East Mississippi as well. He was also a strength and conditioning assistant for LSU from 2006-07.

Felton has been an on-field coach at the collegiate level for just two years prior to coming to Tennessee. He was the outside linebackers coach at Chattanooga in 2017 and served as Akron’s outside linebackers coach in 2019. Between those two jobs, Felton served as an off-field quality control analyst for Tennessee in Pruitt’s first year in 2018. Felton was also the head coach at Crisp County High School in Georgia and coached as an assistant at both Colquitt County and Dooly County High Schools.

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