One down. Three to go.
Florida running backs coach Stan Drayton will join Tennessee’s football coaching staff as an assistant coach, leaving the Vols with three more hires to make for their offensive staff.
Drayton likely will coach running backs, taking the place of Kurt Roper, who left last Wednesday to become David Cutcliffe’s offensive coordinator at Duke.
“I’m a Volunteer,” Drayton told the Tennessean in a story on its Web site on Tuesday. “I interviewed on Sunday and it went extremely well. Tennessee is a classy program and it speaks for itself. Coach (Phillip) Fulmer is as classy as any coach I’ve been around. He provided me an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
Drayton, 36, could not be reached for further comment, however an official announcement is expected later this week.
Drayton has been with the Gators since Urban Meyer took over the program in 2005, helping guide Florida to the 2006 SEC and national championships.
Drayton spent 2004 as running backs coach at Mississippi State and three seasons as an offensive quality control and assistant special teams coach with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
While in Green Bay, he worked with UT director of football operations Bruce Warwick.
Drayton also spent four seasons at Division I-AA Villanova, three of which with Richmond coach Dave Clawson.
Clawson interviewed for Tennessee’s offensive coordinator job on Monday.
While at Florida, Drayton developed a reputation for recruiting, and Rivals.com named him one of its top 25 recruiters for his role in the Gators’ 2007 signing class, which was ranked No. 1 in the nation by several services.
Drayton also coached current Philadelphia Eagles running back Brian Westbrook while at Villanova.
Tuesday’s hire leaves the Vols needing three more coaches to fill out their staff.
Tennessee has yet to hire an offensive coordinator to replace Cutcliffe, who was introduced as Duke’s coach on Dec. 15. The Vols still must replace tight ends coach Matt Luke and wide receivers coach Trooper Taylor. Luke joined Cutcliffe at Duke and Taylor was hired by Oklahoma State.
Drew Edwards covers University of Tennessee football. He may be reached at 865-342-6274.