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New UT Corners Coach Ansley Studied Bama’s Saban

Tennessee is looking more and more like Alabama-North.  Head football coach Derek Dooley is an ex-Nick Saban aide.  The school’s new AD — Dave Hart — and a number of his aides came from Tuscaloosa, too.  So did new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri who’s brought Saban’s 3-4 scheme to Knoxville.

Sunseri also brought in cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley.  Ansley — before a very brief stop at UCF — was a GA at Bama and he says he kept his eyes locked on Saban during his time with the Crimson Tide:

“He’s been coaching DBs for 37 or 38 years.  So in the time I spent with him, I said, ‘I got past a lot of coaches.’  He’s really, really good at what he does.  I was very blessed to go down there and work with him…

The first couple of months, I tried to kind of shadow him.  I learned how he wanted things.  I just tried to get two steps ahead of him and anticipate what he wanted.  When you stay even with a coach like that, you’re getting behind.”

It makes sense for an SEC school to try to mimic the success of Saban and Alabama.  But any Vol fan expecting a former grad assistant to be able to replicate much of Saban’s style and savvy is probably setting himself up for disappointment.

After all, Dooley worked with Saban for a lot longer time than Ansley did… and no one’s confusing him for his old boss just yet.  (Ditto Jimbo Fisher.  Ditto Will Muschamp.)



Well, if all these Bama transplants in Knoxville (I too live in Knoxville after having grown up in the Heart of Dixie) start to make the trophy case look like the one in Tuscaloosa, I'm sure Vols fans won't mind the ribbing you guys in the press are giving them.


UA (Crimson Tide), UAB (Blazers), UAH (Chargers), Why not UAK(Volunteers)???

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



Not sure what "ribbing" the guys in the press are giving Tennessee?  Personally, I said that I think it makes sense to try to mimic the top program in the SEC.


I also happened to point out, however, that anyone expecting a GA to have gobbled up all of Saban's secrets might be setting himself up for disappointment.  I don't see that as ribbing.  That's my honest opinion.


Thanks for reading,John 


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