After an extensive search that took a few unexpected twists and turns, the Tennessee Vols landed Tim Banks as their new defensive coordinator on Monday.
Banks was serving as the co-defensive coordinator/safeties coach at Penn State under James Franklin. He also has defensive coordinator experience at Illinois, Cincinnati, and Central Michigan.
Welcome to Rocky Top, Coach Banks! #GBO
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) February 16, 2021
The Detroit native is known as an elite recruiter. This will be his first time being the “CEO” of a defense, though the potential is there for Banks to be a really solid coordinator for the Vols.
The big question now that Banks is on board is who will be on his coaching staff.
Tennessee already has their offensive staff in place. Defensive line coach Rodney Garner was also hired last week. That means after the hiring of Banks that UT has three positions to fill on the defensive side of the ball.
Here’s how I think the defensive staff could end up looking.
Tim Banks — Defensive coordinator/safeties
Rodney Garner — Defensive line
Willie Martinez — Cornerbacks
Martinez, who previously worked at Tennessee from 2013-2016, is someone that Vols head coach Josh Heupel really likes. The two worked together at UCF for three years. Heupel mentioned Martinez to potential candidates during interviews and there’s a strong feeling he’ll be on staff. Another reason this move would make sense is that Martinez was actually Banks’ position coach for one year at Central Michigan (in 1994). Banks was an All-MAC second team selection under Martinez’s guidance. Martinez also worked with Garner at Georgia for nearly a decade.
John Jancek — Inside linebackers
Jancek was the defensive coordinator at Tennessee from 2013-2015 under Jones. He’s currently a quality control assistant at Georgia under Kirby Smart, but he’d be open to returning to UT as a position coach. Jancek worked with Banks at Cincinnati and has a lot of respect for the new Vols defensive coordinator. Jancek also worked with Garner at Georgia and he’s worked with Martinez at various stops.
Joe Lorig — Outside linebackers/special teams
This one makes too much sense not to happen. The Vols need someone to coach special teams and Lorig has spent a lot of his career with that unit. Lorig, who is currently on staff at Penn State, worked with Heupel in 2015 at Utah State. He also worked at Memphis for three seasons, which would help the Vols end more with that all-important recruiting connection.
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