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Sunseri Leaves Bama To Join UT Staff

In 2009, it looked like the Tennessee football program would become Southern Cal East.  Now it appears the whole UT athletic department is becoming Alabama North.

Alabama linebackers coach and assistant head coach Sal Sunseri has officially joined the Tennessee staff as defensive coordinator.  The coach landed a three-year deal in Knoxville worth $800,000 per season.

“Sal has had unparalleled success over the last decade in not only contributing to team and unit success, but also in his ability to motivate and develop elite individual talent,” Derek Dooley said via press release.  “His combination of defensive knowledge, recruiting success, high-energy personality, ability to connect with players and personal integrity and character make him an exceptional fit for Tennessee.”

Sunseri — as well as defensive line coach Lance Thompson — coached under Nick Saban at Alabama.  Dooley coached under Saban at LSU and with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.  The Tennessee athletic department is headed up by former Tide associate AD Dave Hart and a number of his former UA aides.  If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

For Dooley, Sunseri is a quality hire.  And a much needed one considering the turnover on his staff in recent weeks.  The fact that the Vols’ new defensive coordinator just won a BCS title with Bama on Monday can’t hurt on a big recruiting weekend.

Now the question is — does Thompson stay or does he bolt for South Carolina?  His name has come up in connection with the Gamecocks’ linebackers vacancy.

Sunseri’s departure from Tuscaloosa leaves Saban with two holes to fill on his staff: offensive coordinator and linebackers.  Brian Schottenheimer, Doug Nussmeier and Dirk Koetter are in the running for the OC job.



good luck sunseri hope u can rise a sunken ship


sorry vols u can go steal all the number two coaches u wont but the number one is coach saban u still lose so next year when u cry go get a coach like bama well fisher my take the job cause tennessee will pay u


Rather, "If you can't beat them, clone them."


I think you mean...If you can beat them, Hire them. I know it's the NY Yankee's MO.


Excellent hire for UT. I hope Thompson stays around too. I just wonder if UT will be buying him out or keeping him if Dooley gets fired next year.


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