Bennie Wylie of Tennessee is named Texas strength coach

Tennessee has seen more than its share of changes on the football coaching staff over the last three seasons, but perhaps no position has been hit harder than the one leading strength and conditioning for the Vols.

Nov. 2008: Johnny Long leaves the program along with the rest of Phillip Fulmer’s staff at the end of the regular season.

Dec. 2008: New UT coach Lane Kiffin hires Mark Smith away from South Carolina.

May 2009: Smith and the Vols part ways after just five months, and Kiffin quickly hires UT alum Aaron Ausmus to lead workouts.

Feb. 2010: After Kiffin’s stunning departure for Southern California, Ausmus soon follows suit after it becomes clear he won’t be working with the football team under Derek Dooley. The Vols hire Wylie away from Texas Tech.

Thursday: Wylie is formally introduced for the same position with Texas.

Tennessee strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie calls out drills during practice at Neyland Stadium Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010.

Photo by Adam Brimer

Tennessee strength and conditioning coach Bennie Wylie calls out drills during practice at Neyland Stadium Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010.

Texas came calling again.

This time around the Longhorns were able to pry somebody away from the Tennessee coaching staff.

Highly regarded and now former Vols strength coach Bennie Wylie will fill the same position with the Longhorns, making his move back home to Texas official with an afternoon news conference on Thursday that leaves a vacant office in the weight room yet again for UT. Dating back to the end of the 2008 season, the next hire will be the fifth to hold a position of great importance to the program given its role in shaping the team physically when the rest of the football coaching staff can’t be around in the offseason.

Vols coach Derek Dooley didn’t comment publicly on the issue Thursday, and he’s been vocal that losing assistant coaches or staff members is a sign the team is doing things the right way — a point hammered home when the Longhorns made overtures for defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox. But Dooley seemed to develop a strong bond with Wylie, who was widely praised for his work with the Vols in the offseason, and a group of players that has already worked with so many strength coaches is unlikely to be happy about losing another one.

“Bennie has been phenomenal,” Dooley said after Wylie’s first and only summer with UT. “He’s also a phenomenal extension of me and what our organizational values are. He’s not doing it for Bennie Wylie, he’s doing it for the organization, and I think that’s what makes him special. Bennie is really something special.

“It’s critical, because I can’t be out there. Our coaches can’t be out there — so if the strength coach is not an extension of the staff, then you’re just working out. You’re not developing and growing as a team.”

By all accounts the Vols did flourish under the intense regime of Wylie, who was hired from Texas Tech with a two-year deal worth $225,000.

The former Sam Houston State running back and native of Mexia, Texas, won over the Vols by not only leading the workouts, but participating in them as well to get a better feel and understanding for the physical toll the sessions were having on the players.

UT certainly planned on Wylie sticking around to continue those grueling workouts given his prominent role in a video for the new Football Training Center, but after heading back home to join the Longhorns, he’s now the last name in a list that includes Aaron Ausmus, Mark Smith and Johnny Long before him as strength coaches no longer with the program since November 2008.

“We searched the nation for the guy who had the most energy, the guy who worked the hardest,” former Texas strength coach for football Jeff Madden said according to the Austin American-Statesman.

The Vols used to have that guy. Now they’re the ones searching yet again.

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.

© 2011 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 136

HallowedHill writes:

Don't steal our Bennie!

GO VOLS!

volatil writes:

Has anyone shown Bennie the film about our state of the art weight room being built?

tnfanincali writes:

Can't we match their offer?

tnsportsman writes:

in response to volatil:

Has anyone shown Bennie the film about our state of the art weight room being built?

LOL yeah I'm sure Bennie help with interior layout over the last year!

Like CDD said before, 'if you don't want to be at UT, there are lots of coaches that do'!

Bennie is from Texas and it's home, hard to compete with that. Still a huge loss but TENNESSEE will replace him!

GO VOLS, WE ARE THE FIRST AND REAL UT!

volatil writes:

in response to volatil:

Has anyone shown Bennie the film about our state of the art weight room being built?

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

imw8n4u writes:

I don't get why a S & C coach would go to Texas over TN, it's not like they are ever trying to position themselves for head coaching jobs. I'm a little concerned about the revolving door over there with this job, especially since the s&c coach is the primary contact with the players in the off-season.

dynasty101 writes:

Thats fine, all the injuries this and last couple of years are directly related to strength and conditioning. "Next"

Orangeblood13 writes:

just rewatched the film on him and at the end he talks about this is the mecca, the place to be, blah blah blah

like CD said, dont want to be here, there are plenty that do

DenverVol writes:

dang

tnfanincali writes:

Completely off topic, but whatever happened to Cody Pope? That whole stinger thing... Didn't realize Bennie was from Texas, but the whole lateral move thing seems like kind of a pain in the butt unless he just really wants to go home or they are offering him significantly more money...

volatil writes:

in response to wallandhiker:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

BBBBBBBBennie! good one, lol.

Rich_Is_Re-born writes:

Tennessee is the Mecca, YADA YADA YADA. Dude was the best we've had in several yrs IMO. But I've already burned my mattress and gotten over it. Let's throw the bank at LSU's guy.

UTengr36 writes:

I am just happy at this time of the year we aren't talking about a head coach leaving again. If the worst is a S&C coach, I will take that.

ProwlinAndGrowlinSmokeyDog writes:

Well..There were rumors about Chaney, talks with Wilcox, and now Wylie..They finally succeeded luring a member of our staff to Texas..I wonder what their fascination is with our staff and why would they target them?? Just by Texas even showing interest in any of our staff says the they did something right, whether or not one would agree that they did.

VOLS_SEC_RULES writes:

What an absolutely terrible time to leave....right when the off-season training begins!

VolinCalif writes:

in response to tnfanincali:

Completely off topic, but whatever happened to Cody Pope? That whole stinger thing... Didn't realize Bennie was from Texas, but the whole lateral move thing seems like kind of a pain in the butt unless he just really wants to go home or they are offering him significantly more money...

I've been around a very long time. Left Tennessee in mid 50's and I would still like to go back, it's always going to be home. Spent a lot of time in and out of Texas on business and have Lotta lot of friends in Texas. Don't think I remember any one from Texas or Tennessee that wouldn't go back if really given a good chance.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to UTengr36:

I am just happy at this time of the year we aren't talking about a head coach leaving again. If the worst is a S&C coach, I will take that.

Maybe you don't remember Neb. durning the Tom O. days. S&C was their strong suit. They blew Tenn away because they were just far and away in better Condition.

RoadTrip writes:

Not to worry if it happens - we have 5 coaches with NFL experience that probably have a good handle on other possibilities. I agree with others on here, it is a good thing when major schools want your coaches. Inconvenient, but good.

imw8n4u writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Not to worry if it happens - we have 5 coaches with NFL experience that probably have a good handle on other possibilities. I agree with others on here, it is a good thing when major schools want your coaches. Inconvenient, but good.

I agree it's good when they want them, but not so good when they actually get them.

TommyJack writes:

in response to imw8n4u:

I don't get why a S & C coach would go to Texas over TN, it's not like they are ever trying to position themselves for head coaching jobs. I'm a little concerned about the revolving door over there with this job, especially since the s&c coach is the primary contact with the players in the off-season.

I lived in TX for many years. The vast majority of Texas expatriates long to go home.

Nothing earth shattering here. Our program's success doesn't ride on the S&C coach.

keepitreal4vols writes:

What time are we rioting?

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

I don't normally do this...

-Oregon commented on how we were tired-out
-in quite a few games, we lost it in the second half
-against UNC, we wore out yet again

Here goes...sigh. I think our 'mix' was wrong for having a team with so little depth. We were maybe strong enough, but did NOT have the endurance.

Two components to football fitness:
-technique power (linemen leverage, LB hands and legs, QB torso, and so forth)
-endurance

I don't know that this guy is irreplaceable.

scvols writes:

in response to wallandhiker:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

It was funny, good one.

scvols writes:

There are about 50 more S & C guys waiting for a chance to work for the VOLS.

UTengr36 writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Maybe you don't remember Neb. durning the Tom O. days. S&C was their strong suit. They blew Tenn away because they were just far and away in better Condition.

Nebraska was on roids in those days. That is why the players were nothing until they got there and nothing when they were done.

MidTennVol writes:

Unbelievable. This is a huge deal, as I see it. Now we're looking for the fifth strength coach in THREE YEARS?

We are teaching the entire college football world the importance of staff continuity -- and how disastrous it can be to a program to not have it.

"Forget what you did last winter, boys, there's a new sheriff in town. And there'll be a new one after that."

If the guy was one of the best in the business, we should have planned on somebody coming after him and we should have had the money ready to keep him.

John Stuckey is shaking his head somewhere, probably with tears in his eyes. Not because of Bennie. But because the boys get yet another new sheriff.

Unbelievable. More CHANGE is NOT GOOD for this football program. We need STABILITY over the LONG TERM.

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

in response to dead_vol_foul:

I don't normally do this...

-Oregon commented on how we were tired-out
-in quite a few games, we lost it in the second half
-against UNC, we wore out yet again

Here goes...sigh. I think our 'mix' was wrong for having a team with so little depth. We were maybe strong enough, but did NOT have the endurance.

Two components to football fitness:
-technique power (linemen leverage, LB hands and legs, QB torso, and so forth)
-endurance

I don't know that this guy is irreplaceable.

I'll gladly take any hits on my comment; it really is pretty subjective.

IndyVolFan writes:

in response to VolinCalif:

Maybe you don't remember Neb. durning the Tom O. days. S&C was their strong suit. They blew Tenn away because they were just far and away in better Condition.

That was specifically how we won the NC the next year. Our guys got with Neb. after the game and found out how they approached S&C and recommitted themselves to doing better the next year...and they were better.

ROCKYTOPBRAD writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

What time are we rioting?

for a good riot, its proper to wait till 30 min after dark before starting.do they even have a bennie shirt we could burn?

ibvolman writes:

in response to Rich_Is_Re-born:

Tennessee is the Mecca, YADA YADA YADA. Dude was the best we've had in several yrs IMO. But I've already burned my mattress and gotten over it. Let's throw the bank at LSU's guy.

Probably wouldn't be a bad idea, but I personally would like to see us get Bama's S&C coach.

235lbVol writes:

I'm really getting sick of Texas about NOW!

volnknox writes:

traitor!!!!

vol_till_i_die writes:

bad guy to lose. good luck to bennie and his family.

tovolny writes:

Well get out the violins and line them up on Alcoa Highway. I think a dirge is in order as he heads to the airport. Someone needs to supply orange crying towels. Sounds like a good opportunity for some towels with printed ads. We can beat Texas in football, basketball, and lady basketball; but, we don't have a popsicle's chance in h*ll of beating them when it it comes to money. All they have to do is raise the price of gas.

I am placing and accepting bets right now that whoever we get to replace him will be even BETTER. We can out orange them any day. [Orange means love.]

absgovols writes:

in response to dead_vol_foul:

I'll gladly take any hits on my comment; it really is pretty subjective.

Some people are more replaceable than others but no one is irreplaceable...

feathersax writes:

Ernest T. Bass said it best: "How do yuh do Missus Wiley?" Nobody's indispensable. The right guy is out there who WANTS to be a Vol!

dead_vol_foul (Inactive) writes:

in response to TommyJack:

I lived in TX for many years. The vast majority of Texas expatriates long to go home.

Nothing earth shattering here. Our program's success doesn't ride on the S&C coach.

"Nothing earth shattering here. Our program's success doesn't ride on the S&C coach"

Well, it's a significant piece.

If I am thinking correctly, programs use the S&C coach to run practices other coaches cannot attend. Secondly, the S&C coaches play huge roles in rehab and in having the players 'fit' to play.

If the first leg is recruiting, the second is academic maintenance and the third is S&C...this is all before the kids ever even see the practice field.

BamaVol writes:

in response to tnfanincali:

Completely off topic, but whatever happened to Cody Pope? That whole stinger thing... Didn't realize Bennie was from Texas, but the whole lateral move thing seems like kind of a pain in the butt unless he just really wants to go home or they are offering him significantly more money...

I have took less pay to go home, when you're 1000 miles from family, it means alot.

Runningangry writes:

in response to dead_vol_foul:

I'll gladly take any hits on my comment; it really is pretty subjective.

I'm with you on this one, but to be fair we were pretty thin depth-wise all year. That's a big factor. But all-in-all I'd rather this guy leave than a coordinator or our head coach (again).

Volunatic writes:

in response to steviejanowski:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Kiana would be an excellent motivator, I would think.

Volunatic writes:

in response to FLVOL79:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Probably right about the age thing. She would still motivate me and most other 40+ guys to be as fit as we could be.

TRADITION_EQUALS_VOLS writes:

in response to RoadTrip:

Not to worry if it happens - we have 5 coaches with NFL experience that probably have a good handle on other possibilities. I agree with others on here, it is a good thing when major schools want your coaches. Inconvenient, but good.

We are a major school also. Truth be told, we are higher up in the all time list than tx. Tennessee has more national championships, more bowl appearances, etc.

chrisw2967 writes:

Texas is getting Bennie weenie and they got Miss St DC.Looks like Tx wants to be an SEC team without joining the SEC.

Orangeblood13 writes:

in response to Volunatic:

Probably right about the age thing. She would still motivate me and most other 40+ guys to be as fit as we could be.

aman

sag is ok, just not alot lol

she still tight though

jobrando#216494 writes:

Sounds like he had a bad report card if they could not have matched what the Horns offered.

utnut#215669 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

What time are we rioting?

Now thats funny, I don't care who you are!

423tiger18 writes:

Big time loss..this guy is awesome. I wish him the best

SEAL_9821 writes:

I got no hard feelings at Bennie. It's home and we cannot compete with that no matter how much money we throw at him. With that said, loosing him is not good, but if there is ever a time and a coach to loose his now and him. Strength coaches are not an asset to recruiting which will not hurt us. Second, Dooley should have someone in within a couple of weeks which is perfect timing to start the offseason workouts geared toward spring and summer. The players will get a full offseason of training with whomever the new SC Coach is. We'll be fine

Bigger_Al writes:

in response to dead_vol_foul:

I don't normally do this...

-Oregon commented on how we were tired-out
-in quite a few games, we lost it in the second half
-against UNC, we wore out yet again

Here goes...sigh. I think our 'mix' was wrong for having a team with so little depth. We were maybe strong enough, but did NOT have the endurance.

Two components to football fitness:
-technique power (linemen leverage, LB hands and legs, QB torso, and so forth)
-endurance

I don't know that this guy is irreplaceable.

I think that our lack of depth was a bigger factor. I think the guys playing were in great shape, but they wore down because they played too many downs.

VolinCalif writes:

in response to IndyVolFan:

That was specifically how we won the NC the next year. Our guys got with Neb. after the game and found out how they approached S&C and recommitted themselves to doing better the next year...and they were better.

Yep. I remember very well.

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