Justin Wilcox commited to staying with Vols

Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox during the game against Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010.

Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox during the game against Oregon on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010.

Tennessee closed out its season Thursday night with a heartbreaking loss in brutal fashion.

But one day later, the Vols were able to score a significant victory to start working on next year.

On the first day that might have suited the timetable for Texas to fill its vacancy at defensive coordinator with presumptive leading candidate Justin Wilcox, the UT assistant withdrew his name from consideration and backed up his commitment to coach Derek Dooley and the Vols on New Year’s Eve following Thursday’s 30-27 loss in double overtime to North Carolina in the Music City Bowl in Nashville. According to multiple reports from Texas, the Longhorns were waiting until after bowls to fill the empty spots on their staff — but they’ll have to keep looking for somebody to lead the defense.

“I’m extremely fortunate to be at Tennessee, like we all are,” Wilcox said by phone Friday evening. “I can’t wait to move into recruiting and spring football.

“I believe 100 percent in what Coach Dooley is doing here, the direction of the program, and we’ve still got a lot of work to do. It’s going the right way, and I think all of us are committed to doing it the right way. That’s where we’re headed.”

Wilcox had an opportunity to defuse the speculation he was headed elsewhere during his only availability with the media during bowl season, but he neither confirmed nor denied that he was a candidate with the Longhorns when specifically asked on Dec. 22. But discussions that occurred between Wilcox and Texas didn’t get far before the candidate pulled out of consideration to continue rebuilding the Vols into a championship contender.

Money doesn’t appear to be a factor in the decision, particularly because the Vols have deep enough pockets to compete with the Longhorns — one of the biggest spenders in the country.

Former Texas defensive coordinator and new Florida coach Will Muschamp made $900,000 last season — more than the $625,000 Wilcox is scheduled to make in the second season of a three-year deal with the Vols — working under coach Mack Brown. Wilcox’s deal with the Vols also carries a $300,000 buyout.

UT (6-7, 3-5 SEC) has proved in the past it won’t hesitate to compensate coaches it wants, and despite a limited roster, Wilcox is widely considered to have made the most of the talent on hand this season and figures to be in line for a raise.

The Vols might not have had the finish they wanted this season against the Tar Heels (8-5, 4-4 ACC), but before the frantic, bizarre ending in regulation that led to a game-tying field goal, the defense had held a dangerous passing attack in check and only allowed 17 points before the final second was put back on the clock to set up the extra sessions. And while the offense received the majority of the attention during a four-game winning streak in November just to earn the bowl bid, Wilcox led a unit that didn’t allow more than 14 points in any of those contests to end the regular season.

Despite suggesting he would have a long list of coaches willing to fill in for Wilcox should he elect to leave, Dooley did want to keep his staff together going into his second season — and he’ll now get that chance.

“I didn’t say that meaning I don’t care if my coaches leave,” Dooley said during his first bowl news conference at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville last week. “I didn’t do a good job of communicating that to you all, and that was my fault.

“I don’t want him to leave.”

That won’t be a problem now for the Vols. On the first day he might have realistically bolted for Texas, Wilcox reaffirmed his pledge to the same UT where he was already employed.

Proving Point: At a minimum, the Vols could have avoided overtime without a low extra point being blocked after taking the lead in the fourth quarter, and in all likelihood they’d still be celebrating a victory.

But starting with Dooley and trickling down through the players that spoke with the media Thursday night, UT refused to point a finger at kicker Daniel Lincoln since it had plenty of other chances to take care of business.

“I mean, it’s just basically a learning lesson,” defensive lineman Malik Jackson said. “There are a lot of things we could have done better. We could have worked a lot harder. Now we’ve just got to go into the offseason and work harder. Never take things for granted. Just feel the pain that we are now so that we don’t do it again.

“It’s just breaks don’t go our way sometimes. There are some things we could have done better. They didn’t beat us. We beat ourselves.”

Bumps and Bruises: UT didn’t report any injuries from the sideline on Thursday night, and school spokesman Jimmy Stanton wasn’t aware of any new health concerns after the game as the Vols turn their attention to offseason workouts and spring practice.

Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. He may be reached 865-342-6274. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward

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Comments » 139

tennezz writes:

Great news, Things will only get better and better!

morristownvolsfan writes:

no leave leave!!!

KingDanno (Inactive) writes:

Yeah!

Go_Big_O writes:

That's great news! We need continuity to keep building on what we've started this year.

GBO

Classof72 writes:

We could use some good news today, and this is good news. It would be great for Coach Wilcox to accomplish something for the Vols and his resume before moving onward and upward. I'd like to see his 3-4 defense in action for us the way he wants it. Re-cruit! Re-cruit! Re-cruit!

SEC1 writes:

in response to morristownvolsfan:

no leave leave!!!

Long horns must have watched that MELT DOWN last night and begged him to stay at tennessee

ncvol1 writes:

I am delighted to read that J. Wilcox has decided to remain with Coach Dooley and continue the work begun this year. I believe it augurs well for the Vol's future!!!

born2ride writes:

Texas was not interested.

winbigvols14 writes:

This is great news but we need to keep all the coaches together. Mr.Chaney and Mr.Thompson are going to be names floating out there. This is a good coaching staff and we need to keep them all together for this team to be successfull

tnsportsman writes:

Where are all those internet experts that said it was a done deal Wilcox was leaving? We all are victims of this 24/7 BS Net and we love it! May I have another please!

Way to go Coach Wilcox, ALL VOL!

tnsportsman writes:

in response to SEC1:

Long horns must have watched that MELT DOWN last night and begged him to stay at tennessee

Just wait for that FL Swamp Lizard and Alabubba melt down tomorrow! GO Penn State and MI State!

hallmo11 writes:

Thanks, Coach Wilcox. We needed some good news today from Rocky Top.

1volk-nowi-tall writes:

Can't really blame Wilcox for the defense's inability to compete at times during the season. Remember all those early games when we could not even bring pressure on the passer? The talent level on the D line and at backers was not the greatest UT has had. No real strength in the middle of the line to ward off blockers and put pressure on the QB or the running backs in the middle. Talent will make Wilcox a better coach just as it will with the offensive coaches when the O line gets stronger and more capable of supporting the running game..

jobrando#216494 writes:

Solid decision. He has much to prove in the SEC before moving on.

VolsomeVols writes:

in response to Go_Big_O:

That's great news! We need continuity to keep building on what we've started this year.

GBO

Amen

mattnchatt writes:

Glad to see Wilcox feels like he still has unfinished business in Knoxville. Let's go Vols in 2011!

JBruce writes:

This is 100% BS. He withdrew his name because they told him he would not get the job. Hopefully, Vol fans aren't dillusional enough to believe this garbage. If Texas wanted him; they would get him.

FearTheVols1252 writes:

in response to JBruce:

This is 100% BS. He withdrew his name because they told him he would not get the job. Hopefully, Vol fans aren't dillusional enough to believe this garbage. If Texas wanted him; they would get him.

Call it what you want, but at least we're not going through any coaching changes this year. Stability is a step in the right direction.

tennrich1 writes:

in response to JBruce:

This is 100% BS. He withdrew his name because they told him he would not get the job. Hopefully, Vol fans aren't dillusional enough to believe this garbage. If Texas wanted him; they would get him.

Ha, Ha , Ha......I love it when they let the mental ward have access to computers...

tennrich1 writes:

Boys, when we had eight freshman on the field on offense last night, it sure made me feel good!!!

SEC1 writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

Just wait for that FL Swamp Lizard and Alabubba melt down tomorrow! GO Penn State and MI State!

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

allenf1#223463 writes:

This is good news if, AND ONLY IF, he promises to never again run the prevent defense that he deployed last night which prevented us from winning. I live in NC and had seen most of UNC's games or film of their games. If not pressured, Yates could pick apart a secondary. When pressured and hit often, he folded. You saw it last night. When we brought the pressure he got flushed and threw the ball away or got grounding penalties. But when the game was on the line, UNC on their own 20 with NO timeouts and 31 seconds to go, Wilcox dialed up the prevent. What happened? First play, 28 yard pass with 15 yards tacked on for penalty. Then another pass underneath the soft coverage. You know the rest of the story. Instead of blitzing or playing the regular defense (not the damn Prevent) on first down, we gave up a 43 yard play and essentially allowed UNC to work their way into FG position in 20 seconds. Not the first game I've been under-impressed with Wilcox and his defensive scheme. Was it the lack of bodies or talent? Was it playing in a league that is a far cry from the teams he faced at Boise State? Time will tell. But mark my words, if Wilcox can't help recruit the talent we dreadfully need and then develop that talent with the basics (like how to tackle), we will look back on tonight and wish Mack Brown and Texas had taken him.

ncvol17 writes:

Well, I was one who thought it a 'done deal'.Glad it was not. I could care less if Texas found someone else, we need continuity. Don't we get back 2 who were injured b4 the 2010 year in 2011 on D? Always interesting to read the constant barrage of 'haters' no matter the topic isn't it? Happy 2011 haters and fans.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Honestly, I was a bit hard on Wilcox early in the yr., hell he deserved it at times (UAB). But his D played better as the season went. Part of that happened when Malik slid inside, Brewer started at safety, and Printiss went to CB. That in itself showed that better players will bring better results.

I also don't agree with the bi#ching and moaning about last nights D. We got off the field on 3rd a TON of times. Our D THUMPED last night. If you couldn't see that, you are blind as a bat.

AWOLVol writes:

I think that the juggling act that Wilcox pulled off this year was impressive. We have youth and a lack of depth, not to mention we've been playing two DEs at DT most of the year. No, there were times I wish he had been more aggressive, etc, but the reality is that he did an admirable job with what he had on hand.

He's a good DC...when he has the bodies to truly play his style of defense, I think we'll all be pleased. In other words, this is good news.

And by the way, Texas is in disarray, so anyone who says that they could get him just for the asking has not been paying attention to the details this year. There are serious issues in Austin...

Down_The_Field writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

and chris rainey commits another felony.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You started this dumb s#1t on another thread already, PLEASE don't ruin this one.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to Down_The_Field:

and chris rainey commits another felony.

CLASSIC!

usnavyvol writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I fully understand the concept of message boards, but week after week I see ur sorry azz on here posting garbage. If you cannot add anything viable to the conversation how bout shutting the hell up. What is that drives your Vol fetish?

new_era_vol writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Another moron! Just keep posting on our Vol forums, we all love to read your garbage. By the way, tell mommy when she finishes reading this to you to explain what a moron is and why you are one..... Jackazz.

Hickmc writes:

Hey I went to the game last night and if you looked at our line compared to NC's we are very small. I think he did a great job considering the lack of depth and D tackles.

Also anyone see the news at 6 on WATE? Jim Wogan said that the Big 10 came out and said their officials blew the call. NC should not have gotten another play. But they aslos said UT wouldn't be given the win as they should. About all we get is a sorry again. Don't know all the details but that is what I heard him say. Go VOLS!!! Thanks for stayin' Justin!!!!

RollAFatty writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

1/1/2011 - SEC1's weekly allowance raised to $10. He immediately moves out of mom's basement and tries to find a girlfriend.

Good Luck and Happy New Year!

james#216392 writes:

On Wilcox- His defense was good except in the 2 minute drills. (Under 2 minute drills at half and end of game). I hope these coaches learned a lot from this season. I hope to see the following improvements.
1. The obvious- deeper talent base
2. More control of the players. Stop looking like NFL show offs after plays.
3. A running game.
4. A kicker who can kick it into the endzone on kickoffs
5. A kicker who can hit extra points.
6. an under control defense who doesn't get three fouls on the last 30 seconds.
7. A coach who has the guts to try to win a game instead of just laying down for three plays. Heck, running the ball across the field would kill a few more seconds. Why call the timeout with 1 second? take the one second off the clock. 5 yards wouldn't have hurt the punt. That one second ended up being a killer.

volfan537240 writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What kind of loser gets on a ut message board to bash fans? Must be a real winner

mountainbrook writes:

in response to SEC1:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You forgot one. Will "The Zook" Muschamp loses his first SEC game to TN. OC Charlie Weiss resigns after the game.

volfan4life1998 writes:

These idiots on here defend Fulmer then say they want Wilcox to leave. Fulmer is the reason we don't have any players. Let Wilcox get his players. He will be a fine coach. When your playing in the SEC with all freshmen it gets rough sometimes.

AppreciativeAlum writes:

Tennessee volunteer orange is very different than the whiney orange of Texas.

Wilcox should know that. I don't think whine and shirk is really how he wanted to mold himself.

Tennessee needs to be able to run the ball at will if they want to win more than 8 games a season. A lot of work here.

JBruce writes:

in response to tennrich1:

Ha, Ha , Ha......I love it when they let the mental ward have access to computers...

I may be crazy but at least I am not dillusional. Do you really believe he would turn down a more than doubled salary to coach the Texas Longhorns? If you believe that, you are completely beyond hope!

new_era_vol writes:

Go VOLS, everyone else go away..... And if you are on our forums tonight vandygrad, bite me......Just sayin.

OrangePsyched writes:

in response to ncvol17:

Well, I was one who thought it a 'done deal'.Glad it was not. I could care less if Texas found someone else, we need continuity. Don't we get back 2 who were injured b4 the 2010 year in 2011 on D? Always interesting to read the constant barrage of 'haters' no matter the topic isn't it? Happy 2011 haters and fans.

Right on..the trolls and haters will criticize a cure for cancer if it was discovered at UT. January last year was horrible..this year continuity. I'm going on Gator site to see if SEC1 exists on it and if so will dog him on every article. By the way my prediction tomorrow..
Nittany Lions 66
Gators 3

doh writes:

I thought our coaches did as good as they could with the talent. Some of our best players were freshmen. Look at what meyer did with the talent he had. So screw florida and their fans. Go Penn State.

new_era_vol writes:

in response to BamaBeacher:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

O.K. "Bama-Blower", to start we are recruiting quality players again. Secondly, we are building the foundation for a great program again. You know it is funny when all you losers feel intimidated you think if you post on our forums it somehow gets you off when you are only belittling yourselves. SO I have a little something for you, Dou you know why all the trees in TN lean northward?........Because AL,GA,Vandy,LSU, and Auburn all blow, and KY sucks.

tnsportsman writes:

I swear cantstandsaban, aka vandy(NOT)grad, sec1, SHE-N-2-4 and saban-palin have to be KNS Plants, LOL. No other self-respecting TROLLS would be that ignorant and stupid, unless they are real living in double wide with an 8th grade education!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Where's CCLC? That UGA loss must have been CRUSHING after all that smack he's talked the last 24hrs. Fool was on our site talking trash at 6:12am this morning then his team lost. LMAO AT YOU Mr. CCLC/ AthensHomieDawg. Oh yeah, there was another dude on here this am... I think his name was LADAWG, talkin this, talkin that. UGA got spanked by the Sun Belt Champion.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Something was telling me that he wasn't going to Texas..Glad he is staying but I wouldn't have blamed him if he decided to take the job at Texas for more reasons than I can count...I know some you wanted him to go, but I just wanted what was best for his coaching career.

SummittsCourt writes:

All you "fans" wanting Coach Wilcox to leave will be eating those words in the near future. He will build a great defense once he gets the right players in and they learn his system. Book it! This is awesome news!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to tnsportsman:

I swear cantstandsaban, aka vandy(NOT)grad, sec1, SHE-N-2-4 and saban-palin have to be KNS Plants, LOL. No other self-respecting TROLLS would be that ignorant and stupid, unless they are real living in double wide with an 8th grade education!

What up TNsportsman? Don't leave CCLC out, wouldn't wanna hurt that piece of trashes feelings. Have fun at the game? I like what I see with our young team. UNC had the better athletes, we had the better coaching IMO. It's just hard to believe UNC lost all those players because honestly, EVERY player on their team (except QB)looked like he could start for us. They had some studs on their D. #90 Quinton Coples was a damn beast. He almost came to UT. He looks and Plays like Julius Peppers. Have a good safe holiday Tnsportsman.

new_era_vol writes:

in response to SummittsCourt:

All you "fans" wanting Coach Wilcox to leave will be eating those words in the near future. He will build a great defense once he gets the right players in and they learn his system. Book it! This is awesome news!

Finally, someone who does know the difference between their head and their azz!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEAR:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

NICE.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

in response to Classof72:

We could use some good news today, and this is good news. It would be great for Coach Wilcox to accomplish something for the Vols and his resume before moving onward and upward. I'd like to see his 3-4 defense in action for us the way he wants it. Re-cruit! Re-cruit! Re-cruit!

Some people may not think it's good news but I think it is because I have been feeling like he!! with a cold since last last night and needed some good news.

It was only his first year as our DC, and he needs time just like the rest of our staff does...I think back to when these rumors started and he made his statement to the media and people were trying to translate what he said and saying what he really meant..He said he is behind CDD 100% and I knew he meant it...Someone even compared him to "a man I will not mention" and that comparison was way off.

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