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UT Loses Hiestand, Hires Pittman, Waits On Sunseri

Tennessee’s search for a new defensive coordinator has taken several twists and turns in the past two weeks, but grabbing a new offensive line coach was smooth, easy sailing for Derek Dooley. 

Just hours after it was reported that Harry Hiestand would officially be leaving the Vols for Notre Dame, UT announced the hire of Sam Pittman from North Carolina.  Pittman’s reputation as a good recruiter aided Dooley’s decision.

“Sam has an excellent reputation and track record as an offensive line coach and as a recruiter,” UT’s coach said via release.  “He brings a considerable amount to our program as a coach and a person, and we are excited that he is joining our staff.”

Pittman joins new running backs coach Jay Graham (from South Carolina) as the new guys on the Vol staff.  But there will be more. 

Tennessee appears to be waiting on an answer from Alabama assistant head coach and linebackers coach Sal Sunseri about the Vols’ open D-coordinator job.  If he turns it down, it’s believed Navy’s Buddy Green — who interviewed in Knoxville yesterday — will land the position.

Dooley is also waiting on Rich Bisaccia of the San Diego Chargers to accept or turn down UT’s offer of the special teams coordinator position.

And, as we’ve noted before, if current Tennessee defensive lineman coach Lance Thompson is passed over for the coordinator promotion — and all signs suggest he will be — it’s possible that he might listen to other offers.

But for now, Tennessee waits for Sunseri to say yea or nay.




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