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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.)

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