Report: Tennessee looking to hire defensive coordinator soon, NFL assistant interested
With National Signing Day complete, Josh Heupel appears to be focused on finding his defensive coordinator.
John Brice of FootballScoop shared a lengthy update on the search Thursday, detailing that the Vols have looked at multiple Power 5 coordinators, an NFL assistant has expressed interest and UT “is believed to be eyeing a hiring timeline before the end of the weekend.”
Brice’s report says Louisville defensive coordinator Bryan Brown was “potentially the focus of the search.” Brown, however, is “highly likely” to remain at Louisville as of Thursday morning, Brice reports.
Heupel reportedly also showed interest in USC defensive coordinator Todd Orlando. Similar to Brown’s situation, as of Wednesday Brown was “widely expected” to remain at Southern Cal, according to Brice’s sources.
The NFL assistant who showed interest is not named, but Brice offers a notable detail:
An NFL assistant coach from a playoff team also has expressed interest in the position, sources confirmed to FootballScoop.
As has been previously reported, Kevin Steele is not expected to remain at Tennessee. Heupel inherited the former Auburn defensive coordinator who signed a contract with UT ahead of Jeremy Pruitt’s firing. Brice described Steeles as “a bit of an odd-man-out in Knoxville since Heupel’s formal hiring.”
The report says that UCF’s search for a new athletic director, who will hire the new Knights head coach, has been a factor in delaying the defensive coordinator search. It’s uncertain if any UCF staffers will be following Heupel to Rocky Top.
Still, Heupel hopes to have a defensive coordinator in the coming days.
“So Heupel’s search continues, but per sources, Tennessee is believed to be eyeing a hiring timeline ‘before the end of the weekend,'”Brice writes.
The full report, with more on Steele’s situation, can be read here.