One of the downsides to having a strong coaching staff is that other programs/NFL teams will always be looking to poach assistants.
Tennessee Vols head coach Jeremy Pruitt is learning this the hard way.
On Monday, VolQuest reported that outside linebackers coach/co-defensive coordinator Chris Rumph is heading to the NFL to join the Houston Texans’ staff.
This is the second assistant Pruitt has lost to the NFL this off-season. Inside linebackers coach Kevin Sherrer recently left Tennessee to join the New York Giants’ staff.
To replace Sherrer, Pruitt moved tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer to linebackers and promoted Joe Osovet to an on the field role coaching tight ends.
Pruitt could use a similar strategy to replace Rumph.
VolQuest reported that Pruitt will interview Akron outside linebackers coach Shelton Felton for the job.
Felton served as a defensive quality control assistant for Tennessee in 2018.
When Pruitt was looking for an offensive coordinator after the 2018 season, he put Felton on the road recruiting. So it’s obvious that Pruitt thinks a lot of the former UT assistant.
Another name that will draw some interest — at least among fans — is Tosh Lupoi.
Lupoi was once one of Alabama’s best recruiters. But he left Tuscaloosa after the 2018 season to join the Cleveland Browns’ staff. After not being retained after the 2019 season, Lupoi joined the Atlanta Falcons’ staff as their defensive line coach/run game coordinator.
There’s been some rumblings that Lupoi isn’t exactly in good standing the SEC/NCAA, so it’s unclear if Prutt would actually make a run at him. With Rumph’s salary cleared, Pruitt could offer Lupoi a co-defensive coordinator title if he wished.
Earlier on Monday, it was reported that defensive line coach Tracy Rocker left Tennessee for South Carolina. Colorado defensive line coach Jimmy Brumbaugh has reportedly been hired as his replacement.
There’s never a dull moment on Rocky Top.
Featured image via 247Sports