Swinney confirms Steele staying at Clemson

Derek Dooley will have to keep looking for his first defensive coordinator at Tennessee.

Dabo Swinney is holding on to his.

The Clemson coach confirmed through a school spokesperson on Wednesday afternoon that UT alum and former assistant Kevin Steele would return to the Tigers for another season despite reports he could double his salary with the Vols. It was widely reported Steele had accepted a position on Dooley's staff Tuesday, but multiple outlets in South Carolina indicated he changed his mind after meeting with his players.

The News Sentinel was never able to confirm any deal between the coordinator and the Vols, and now it doesn't appear there will be one at all.

"Our head coach (Swinney) told me he was staying," Clemson sports information director Tim Bourret said.

Steele looked like a great fit for the Vols given his ties to the program and to Alabama coach Nick Saban, the longtime boss and mentor for Dooley. But with Steele apparently out of the picture, the search will head elsewhere.

UT has been tight-lipped about potential targets and is also still trying to fill two other positions. Linebackers coach Lance Thompson and defensive backs coach Willie Mack Garza appear likely to be retained, which would leave a vacancy on the defensive line.

On the other side of the ball, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney will return for a second season with the Vols. He’ll be joined by new hires Charlie Baggett, Terry Joseph and Eric Russell.

Roles for all the members of the new staff have yet to be determined.

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Comments » 34

bugman (Inactive) writes:

who cares

vol49 writes:

Whatever. Dime a dozen.

jobrando#216494 writes:

when dabo gets canned dont come here

kantanuuv writes:

Smart move on the part of Mr. Steele. With the UGA-TN Vols on a downward spiral, and the entire coaching staff to be replaced again in a couple of years, job security takes precedence over any salary increase.

Maverickman writes:


pdhuff#552644 writes:


AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Nobody seems to want to come here to coach..

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Nobody seems to want to come here to coach..

well it is flu season

AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons writes:

Dang....needs to be securing recruits, not looking for coaches. But not his fault. Some of these players won't come without knowing who the coach will be. Go Dooley. Make the right pick.

RoyaltyVol writes:

Good luck at Clemson Mr Steele. He will just leave next season and go somewhere else!

SEAL_9821 writes:

It's gonna be hard to get good coach's in here with signing period a little over 2wks away. Most coach's have some class and have already recruited their defensive guys to come play for them. If it were December, I would bet we would have a better shot at landing a few quality assistants. I say give the ball to Thompson and see what he can do for us.

TheOpinion writes:

I really hope we stick with the 4-3 D. 3-4 is not my favorite.

Mr_Brownstone writes:

thanks for helping your alma mater.

Ayres_Hall writes:

Steele is a guy who does not like to stick around for the long term. He'll leave Clemmons soon. So, I'm not bothered at all.

tdforvols writes:

Just the worst possible time of year to be looking for coaches (NCAA type already employed that is)...Could be a few PRO prospects already done for the year though.

ARMY_VOL writes:

in response to AtLeastMyTeamHasPerfectSeasons:

Nobody seems to want to come here to coach..

What are you talking about? It's a timing issue. The fact that Lane Kiffen left Tennessee isn't what has garnered him so much negative press. It's the way he left, after one season, after all the big talk, after painting a giant bullseye on the back of UT football with the NCAA and our SEC opponents, and then bolting with seemingly no remorse for the impact on the University and most importantly the players who trusted him. The subsequent negative press that was generated nationally beacause of him bolting 3 weeks before NSD has made many coaches very nervous about following suit. Make no mistake: Patterson, Whittingham, Steele--the list goes on and on--all of them would have bolted in a heart beat to come to Tennessee had Kiffen not created such a toxic environment in the national media with his actions. Tennessee will be just fine. We were rebuilding before Kiffen got here and we are rebuilding still, only this time the architect is someone who sees UT as a destination rather than a springboard. Make no mistake...We will end up with the right people in place and they will be people who want to be here and UT football will be better for it.

hollywood9950 writes:

What about former UT great and App State coach Dale Jones as one of the coaches

shopsports#273141 writes:

After meeting with his player, my butt....After getting a big raise $$$$$$. Part of life, but I am tired of us being bashed as if nobody would wipe their feet here. At least we can make some people pay up.

huntined#565710 writes:

in response to RoyaltyVol:

Good luck at Clemson Mr Steele. He will just leave next season and go somewhere else!

No he will stay there but he will use another team next year to get another raise..just how it goes..

Ringside writes:

Promote Lance and hire Al Wilson....just a thought. Where is Bill bates nowadays.

OrangePsyched writes:

It's all good...I especially reading all the negative b.s. from the trolls and haters..all the gnashing of teeth just validate the smart hire of Dooley. Kiffin's gone, Fulmer, Cut and Brown will never be back, yes my friend life is good. Keep bringing the ignorance guys and I will keep lmo. Can't wait till signing day..we will finish in top ten plus pick up a few tweeners. I like the 4 year guys for continuity with a few 5's mixed in. ROCKY TOP!

Gravitys_Gone writes:

in response to Ringside:

Promote Lance and hire Al Wilson....just a thought. Where is Bill bates nowadays.

Bates was in Florida last I heard...Makin air-conditioned shoulder pads.

Gravitys_Gone writes:

in response to SECFB:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Clemson to Tennessee is a parallel move?

gavol writes:

Give it a rest KNS. Stop reporting this bunk! You misreported based on poor research, as usual. Now, you want to keep print garbage about this non-story. John Adams, you the ultimate in poor sports editing and reporting. Just face the facts, you never have any facts to report only unsubstantiated garbage. KNS is a laughingstock in the sports world.

Gravitys_Gone writes:

in response to hollywood9950:

What about former UT great and App State coach Dale Jones as one of the coaches

Dale would probably injure one of our blue chip recruits while demonstrating proper technique in practice. If you look up "Bad Man" in Webster's you will find a picture of Al Wilson, if you look up "Bad Man in Orange Striped Tube Socks" you will find Mr. Dale Jones!

mlsoft#228820 writes:

Personally, I am not unhappy at all with Steele's decision. I would rather have a younger, more energetic and equally capable DC -- Coach Lance Thompson has earned his chance and is a better choice. He has a top notch resume' with plenty of experience, and has served apprenticeships under two of the best defensive minds in football. Additionally, he is widely acknowledged as one of the best recruiters in college ball.

Why anyone would want Garner from Ga as DC is beyond me. Coach Richt has repeatedly passed him over for the same position job there, and he knows Garner's abilities and work better than anyone. Garner is an excellent recruiter and I would like to have him for that, but he has not shown the aptitude to be a DC or even a particularly good position coach.

My first choice would be to give LT a chance, but if that is not feasible in Coach Dooley's eyes, find another big name candidate -- there are plenty of them out there. I am tired of seeing us publicly beg coaches to come to UT so whatever we do, let's do the search in private and just let us know when the final decision has been made.

Go Big Orange -- Coach Dooley is off to a very good start, in my opinion.


ghost_of_which_doctor (Inactive) writes:

You can do better than Rodney Garner. Just take your time. Lots of available NFL blood out there right now.

DooleyBall2012 writes:

Coach, if it was a snake it would have bit you.

Years Title Location
2009-Present Linebacker Coach Tennessee
2007-2008 Outside Linebacker Coach Alabama
2004-2006 Defensive Coordinator UCF
2002-2003 Assistant Head Coach, Recruiting Coordinator & Tight Ends Coach LSU
2001 Defensive Line Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Georgia Tech
1999-2000 Defensive Line Coach Alabama
1995-1998 Defensive Line Coach & Recruiting Coordinator Georgia Tech

jobrando#216494 writes:

Keep starting from scratch and Make Lance T the d-coor

SIMSVOL writes:

Biggunzz must have a little richard. Always on here trying to make up for it with his uninformed comments. He's an unhappy fool. Get lost.

Thunderstorm writes:

Put Lance Thompson in there. He knows how to coach the linebackers and the D line. He has a good secondary coach too.

jsm67vol writes:

Everyone keeps pushing Lance T for the DC job. I believe there are some coaches that know their strength lies in being a position coach. I don't know if Lance is one of those guys. If he wanted the job and has the ability, I think he would have confronted CDD about it by now. It is a bad time to be looking for a new DC, but CD will find a guy he likes and he will get him or the next one he likes. It will all work out. GBO!!!!

volsportsfanatic writes:

I still can't understand why other team fans like to get on here to bash us. I'm all about trash talking with other fans, but come on. I know some of you all are loving it due to the fact you know you may have a better chance at beating us. Don't get used to it, cause it won't be this way for very long. Even most of our recruits know that. We have had some "bad timing" issues hit us at the wrong time, but we will survive and be successful soon! We have been one of the better teams in the toughest conference, SEC, for a long time, and will continue to be for a long time. Coach Dooley was a good hire, and as some of the best fans in college football, we will be behind him 100%. That is who we are, and what we do. I also think that the other coaches are good hires, and will help us, in what might seem to be a "downward spiral" to our program, only get better. Good luck coaches, and we look forward to BIG ORANGE FOOTBALL!!!

txsvol#372416 writes:

Texas A & M is excited about the hiring of Air Force Academy defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter as their defensive coordinator. The Falcon defense was described by TCU's Gary Patterson as one that "hunts together," stressing the discipline and training of that unit. Hope that we get a DC who can do the same! Go Vols! SAVol

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