How often have you seen a head coach publicly offer his support for one of his assistants landing a promotion elsewhere?

It’s pretty rare to see something like that in today’s era of college football but that didn’t stop James Franklin from issuing his thoughts on Banks landing the defensive coordinator role in Knoxville this week.

Banks, formerly Penn State’s safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator, had been on staff for five seasons at Penn State. Banks also previously worked with Franklin at Maryland.

Following Tennessee officially announcing the hire of Banks on Monday, Franklin issued the following message to his former assistant coach.

“I would like to thank Tim for everything he has contributed to our program,” Franklin’s statement read. “This was a great opportunity for him to be the defensive play-caller and defensive coordinator at Tennessee. I have spent seven seasons on staffs with Tim at Maryland and Penn State, and I have enjoyed watching him develop into the coach he is today. Tim and his wife, Robin, will always have a special place in my family’s heart. We are excited for Tim and his family and wish him nothing but success in the future.”

While it’s fair to question what level of coach Banks is in terms of X’s & O’s until Tennessee fans get to see their defense on the field this fall, based on this statement from Franklin, it would appear the Vols are getting a highly respected member of the college coaching world to lead the defense on Rocky Top.

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Sports betting in Tennessee officially launched on November 1, 2020, and many of the largest sportsbooks are live and operating in the volunteer state. Tennessee is only one of a handful of SEC football states with legalized sports betting.