Jay Graham likely only holdover from Derek Dooley's staff

Several Cincinnati assistants expected to join Jones

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, right, gives a helmet to new football head coach Butch Jones, left, during a news conference introducing Jones in the Peyton Manning Locker Room Complex at Neyland Stadium Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Adam Brimer, Knoxville News Sentinel

Tennessee athletic director Dave Hart, right, gives a helmet to new football head coach Butch Jones, left, during a news conference introducing Jones in the Peyton Manning Locker Room Complex at Neyland Stadium Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. (ADAM BRIMER/NEWS SENTINEL)

Running backs coach Jay Graham during spring practice at Haslam Field on Thursday, March 29, 2012. 
 (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2012

Running backs coach Jay Graham during spring practice at Haslam Field on Thursday, March 29, 2012. (AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL)

Al Behrman/Associated Press
Former Cincinnati coach Butch Jones yells instructions  to his team during a game against Miami (Ohio) on  Oct. 6 in Cincinnati. Jones was named coach of Tennessee on Friday.

Photo by Al Behrman

Al Behrman/Associated Press Former Cincinnati coach Butch Jones yells instructions to his team during a game against Miami (Ohio) on Oct. 6 in Cincinnati. Jones was named coach of Tennessee on Friday.

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Running backs coach Jay Graham is likely to be the only member of Derek Dooley's staff retained by new coach Butch Jones, who could bring down several assistants from Cincinnati within days.

Graham's retention, reported by News Sentinel partner GoVols247, adds some Southern flavor to Jones' first staff. Graham, 37, was a record-setting running back for the Vols from 1993-96 and played six years in the NFL. He spent three seasons at South Carolina before joining Dooley's staff in January.

"I'd do it again," Graham said last month of the risk he took in joining Dooley's staff. "I love my University. I wouldn't think twice about it if I had a second opportunity to do it."

The university did not confirm Saturday that the other eight assistant coaches under Dooley had been formally released, although none are expected to return.

Jones is expected to bring several assistants from Cincinnati, including some who have been with him since he first became a coach six years ago at Central Michigan.

Ideally, Jones would like to have some assistants on the ground in Knoxville before NCAA's recruiting "dead period" begins Dec. 17. During that time, coaches can call or text recruits, but can't visit with them in person.

Jones is likely to retain his two UC coordinators. Offensive coordinator Mike Bajakian has been with Jones for six years and is familiar with his fast-paced attack. Defensive coordinator John Jancek was linebackers coach and later co-defensive coordinator at Georgia from 2005-2009. He's a Michigan native who previously worked with Jones as an assistant at Central Michigan.

Receivers coach and recruiting coordinator T.J. Weist is another Michigan native with Southern experience. An Alabama grad, Weist joined Jones at Cincinnati three years ago after eight seasons at Western Kentucky.

Offensive line coach Don Mahoney is another longtime Jones assistant, who joined him at CMU after a seven-year stint at Tulane.

Safeties coach Mark Elder, who also coordinates special teams, has been with Jones for six years. He's handled running backs and tight ends in the past, so his role could be flexible if he comes South.

Cincinnati defensive line coach Steve Stripling is the interim coach, although it's unclear if he will continue to lead the Bearcats through their Belk Bowl appearance on Dec. 27 after Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberviille was hired on Saturday. His current role wouldn't necessarily preclude Stripling from joining Jones at UT, as many coaches could juggle dual roles at both schools during the next two weeks. Tuberville told Cincinnati.com that Stripling and the current UC staff would lead the team in the bowl game.

There was so much buzz around former UT quarterback Tee Martin, now an assistant at Southern California, that Jones was even asked about him at Friday's introductory news conference.

"Obviously,'' Jones said, "he's a great coach. We all understand what he's meant to this football program. Obviously he would be an individual we reach out to, but we're going to reach out to a lot of individuals.''

Martin could have other options if he decides to return to the Southeast, and it's not clear where he would fit on Jones' prospective staff.

Jones will be provided a pool of roughly $3 million to pay assistant coaches, roughly the same amount assistants were paid under Dooley in 2012.

Graham, who joined Dooley's staff in January, was already under contract through February 2014 at a salary of $225,000.

Dooley's offensive coordinator Jim Chaney, will be paid $600,000 by Tennessee regardless of whether he finds work elsewhere. Six other assistants — offensive line coach Sam Pittman, receivers coach Darin Hinshaw, defensive line coach John Palermo, safeties coach Josh Conklin, cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley and defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri — are collectively owed roughly $3.5 million, but they are required to make reasonable efforts to find other jobs to defray the cost of their payouts. Much of that is owed to Sunseri, the highest paid coach on Dooley's staff, who is due roughly $1.8 million through February 2015.

Jones could also bring some administrative support members to Tennessee in non-coaching roles, and strength coaches often follow coaches to new schools during these transitions.

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Related:

Butch Jones biography

Butch Jones' Memorandum of Understanding with Tennessee

Butch Jones press conference transcript

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Videos

Butch Jones introduced as the new head coach of the UT football team

Dave Hart answers questions about the coaching search and Butch Jones hire

John Adams on the Butch Jones hire

Evan Woodbery on the Butch Jones hire

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him at www.Twitter.com/TennesseeBeat.

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Comments » 249

OrangeCrush writes:

Great decision! Thank you CBJ and thank you CJG. Great start to an outstanding staff.

alfrizzle097 writes:

Disappointed Jim Chaney is leaving. Thought they might also retain Sam Pittman. Seems like continuity in the offensive line philosophy would pair with keeping Graham to really help the run game keep improving.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

Hey, casualties of failure..Jay is a great recruiter and will serve you well..I can't imagine how fired Ansley and Sunseri were after CBJ viewed some film.

tnoutlaw2001#228008 writes:

Super excited! Get those idiots out of here and keep the once great UT guy, perfect. Hopefully this brings on a new attitude and SEC football, not a run and shoot gas the defense, 3 pass plays and out stuff.

renegade37918 writes:

bringing the hammer down on the defense

oldster writes:

If Jones dumps the O line coach, Darin Hinshaw and Conklin, he will be making his second, third and fourth mistakes since taking the UT job. The first will be having told us that he was going to have the best staff in the US if he brings so many from his staff at Cincinnati. His O line coach may be great, but making a good O line go through their 3rd position coach in 3 years - especially after finally having the kind of year that their talent suggested they should have been having all along - would be ... unwise. Dumping Hinshaw, the recruiting co-ordinator for the kids UT has been in contact with for up to 3 year would be .. risky. Dumping Conklin would be getting rid of probably the most promising coach on Dooley's staff. No, Butch, if you want success, you really need to reconsider this.

govolsdid writes:

Graham GO GET DERRICK GREEN he is a BEAST and what we need to compete in the SEC!!!!!!!!!!! GO GET HIM!!! IF YOU DID NOT HERE US GOOOOOOOOOO GETTT GRENNN!!!!!!!!OH DERRICK WE WANT YOU TO BE A VOL!!!!!!!!!!!GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

arkansasvol1975 writes:

Other than the $1.3 million to get rid of Hamilton, the $1.8 million to get rid of Sunseri, and $5 million to get rid of Dooley.....best money that UT has spent in a long time.

I like what I hear out of Jones. YOU ARE A WINNER. ACT LIKE IT! That swagger he is talking about, we have missed that for a few years. Jones seems to have a fire in him. The more I hear, the more I like. Coach Jones, go light that fire in their a*s and lets go!

formerflgranny writes:

I think CBJ is serious business and I already love him.

apriliaracing writes:

I was extremely disappointed in a what we thought (or think) is a middle of the road coach, but you know what, I think I may have been wrong. The guy makes sense and is pumped full of common sense and seems to know what makes young guys tick. I'm kind of looking forward to what happens. The recruiting class will tell us a bunch of what is to come. I wish him (and UT) much success.

oldster writes:

in response to renegade37918:

bringing the hammer down on the defense

Please note that only one of the assistants that are mentioned as possible candidates for coming to UT with Jones is a defensive coach. The rest are offensive coaches. Are these guy better than the "idiots" (which is what one of the previous posters called them) who coached a record setting offense at UT this past year? I find it doubtful and, therefor, unwise to substitute his buddies for the establishd group. He will, but he should remember that loyalty counts for nothing if the results on the field do not follow.

Glentenn writes:

The Cincinnati website is saying Butch will bring over John Jancek, his defensive coordinator, but that he may be willing to be a position coach if Butch wants to hire a defensive coordinator. It would be awesome if we got Randy Shannon as DC.

BolivrBob writes:

I figure Patterson is gone. Has anyone heard anything from Bray or Hunter?

govolsdid writes:

BUTCH if you want to be successful make sure you hire a GOOD if not GREAT Def. Cord. because that is whats going to decide YOUR future!!!!!!GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RoyaltyVol writes:

If we get Tee Martin that would be great having Tee and Jay Graham both on staff. I'm liking the new coach and staff.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

I figure Patterson is gone. Has anyone heard anything from Bray or Hunter?

Patterson would be a beast in CBJ's fast past offense!!!
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN
VFL

cloudodust writes:

I hoped JG would be retained. The RB's finally got the memo that turning it up field instead of trying to out-run the defense off the edges had to come from Graham. Excellent choice to keep him...

tfortennessee writes:

in response to titletownz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You seem to be obsessed with all things Big Orange. Go Cards!

cloudodust writes:

in response to arkansasvol1975:

Other than the $1.3 million to get rid of Hamilton, the $1.8 million to get rid of Sunseri, and $5 million to get rid of Dooley.....best money that UT has spent in a long time.

I like what I hear out of Jones. YOU ARE A WINNER. ACT LIKE IT! That swagger he is talking about, we have missed that for a few years. Jones seems to have a fire in him. The more I hear, the more I like. Coach Jones, go light that fire in their a*s and lets go!

Hammy should be paid off with Fool's Gold...

coach799 writes:

Ainsley and Conklin might be great recruiters but I don't think any of the defensive staff should be retained based on this season.

GO VOLS!!

TheStupidPolice writes:

I'd like to thank the man who scheduled two FCS schools, SMU and the worst defense in CFB, Louisiana Tech. I also want to thank everyone who didn't watch the Florida and LSU games. - Johnny Football

GloryDays writes:

I am glad that they are keeping Jay Graham, #25 one of my all time favorites. Disappointed to hear he will not keep Sam Pittman, that guy did a fantastic job, and I wish he would stay. I would love to see Tee Martin come back to the Vols. We need some good recruiters if we are going to win. GBO!

bigdisbig writes:

Cheeks should be fired to help offset the senseless payouts to Dooley and the staff. Why Cheeks hired Dooley to begin with is beyond reason. Who would hire a guy who went 4-8 at La. Tech then on top of that give hime a buyout of 5 million if he doesn't work out? To have an idiot like Cheeks making decisions at the University of Tenn. says a lot about those above him.

Pullingguard writes:

Best staff in college football just may come back to haunt him..but I suppose beauty lies in the beholder..if that's what he believes...

VOLHolla writes:

in response to Glentenn:

The Cincinnati website is saying Butch will bring over John Jancek, his defensive coordinator, but that he may be willing to be a position coach if Butch wants to hire a defensive coordinator. It would be awesome if we got Randy Shannon as DC.

What about Kevin Steele?
he is a former UT asst. and a fantastic recruiter.

presuming he is still unemployed

TheStupidPolice writes:

I understand Tee Martin is a former Vol and probably feels a lot of loyalty toward the program, but I don't see why he'd leave LA coaching Marquis Lee to come to a staff he has no familiarity with to coach Pig Howard. If Jones can make that sale, I'll be extremely impressed and optimistic.

Glentenn writes:

in response to TheStupidPolice:

I'd like to thank the man who scheduled two FCS schools, SMU and the worst defense in CFB, Louisiana Tech. I also want to thank everyone who didn't watch the Florida and LSU games. - Johnny Football

Bet you might have a different comment if Johnny Football was our quarterback. Congrats Johnny!

budd#207344 writes:

in response to govolsdid:

BUTCH if you want to be successful make sure you hire a GOOD if not GREAT Def. Cord. because that is whats going to decide YOUR future!!!!!!GO BIG ORANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He needs someone who has been a DC and has had exposure to the SEC. You are right on. This will be the most important hire on his staff. If he cannot get someone who can run a 4-3 and get these guys to believe in themselves again he will blow this upcoming season. Would like to see Pittman retained as well but the DC will be the big one

jack4444 writes:

Sure would like to see Pittman retained, he got those guys going.

CoverOrange writes:

What has Tee Martin done that makes him a great "get?" Was at Kentucky where they went from okay to bad. Is at SouCal where they went from contenders to mediocre.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

So, does this mean he's not keeping Sunseri? Chaney get $600,000.00 while Sunseri gets $1.8 million? Sometimes life just isn't fair.

cloudodust writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

So, does this mean he's not keeping Sunseri? Chaney get $600,000.00 while Sunseri gets $1.8 million? Sometimes life just isn't fair.

Seems a little bass ackwards, doesn't it..?

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CoverOrange:

What has Tee Martin done that makes him a great "get?" Was at Kentucky where they went from okay to bad. Is at SouCal where they went from contenders to mediocre.

Thank you..First he joins UK one of UT's most hated rivals, and if that wasn't enough he joins forces with the dishonorable Lane Kiffin. And what major recruits has he ever been instrumental in signing?

CoverOrange writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Thank you..First he joins UK one of UT's most hated rivals, and if that wasn't enough he joins forces with the dishonorable Lane Kiffin. And what major recruits has he ever been instrumental in signing?

Xactly. This must be from the same delusional group that keeps calling for Peyton to come home.

wycoller writes:

in response to arkansasvol1975:

Other than the $1.3 million to get rid of Hamilton, the $1.8 million to get rid of Sunseri, and $5 million to get rid of Dooley.....best money that UT has spent in a long time.

I like what I hear out of Jones. YOU ARE A WINNER. ACT LIKE IT! That swagger he is talking about, we have missed that for a few years. Jones seems to have a fire in him. The more I hear, the more I like. Coach Jones, go light that fire in their a*s and lets go!

Arkie....You make a good point. In a perfect world, Dooley and Sunseri should be paying UT for all the time that's been wasted.

rb4346 writes:

How about Al Wilson at linebackers coach, anyone agree with that?

nocleats writes:

in response to BolivrBob:

I figure Patterson is gone. Has anyone heard anything from Bray or Hunter?

If what I hear is true.... CP NEVER went to class.... EVER. He is gone anyway

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to Pullingguard:

Best staff in college football just may come back to haunt him..but I suppose beauty lies in the beholder..if that's what he believes...

Yep. I can understand that he has a lot of faith in what some of his coaches have produced over their tenure. But claiming we will have the best staff not just in the SEC, but "the nation", does not mean bring everyone from Cincinnati with you except for one coach. I hope he shops around for at least three other guys and Tee Martin is one of them. We'll see.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to rb4346:

How about Al Wilson at linebackers coach, anyone agree with that?

IN!

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

So, does this mean he's not keeping Sunseri? Chaney get $600,000.00 while Sunseri gets $1.8 million? Sometimes life just isn't fair.

The entire staff is gone except for Jay Graham.

pcshowtime writes:

Nothing against bring in some of his own people. But remember we need SEC Recruiters. Come on guys get behind our coach who wouldn't like more BJ's.

pcshowtime writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

Thank you..First he joins UK one of UT's most hated rivals, and if that wasn't enough he joins forces with the dishonorable Lane Kiffin. And what major recruits has he ever been instrumental in signing?

I am not saying he has done anything good or bad. But the man has to eat remember the num nuts in the orange pants would not talk to him about a job. what do we want him to do not coach at any other sec schools or any coached by lane kiffen because he played for UT????

whiskeyman writes:

Is it just me or does Dave Hart look like one of the characters on Lord of the Rings. One of the Hobbits maybe?

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to alfrizzle097:

Disappointed Jim Chaney is leaving. Thought they might also retain Sam Pittman. Seems like continuity in the offensive line philosophy would pair with keeping Graham to really help the run game keep improving.

Yeah, I just loved his stupid Wildcat plays...oh and let's not forget his TOTALLY UNEXPECTED gimmick play calls to Pig Howard as soon as we got inside the 25yd line. He was a genius...

Uhhhh, please give me a break. It is REALLY hard not to be more insulting, but he was just not that good. I do not recall anyone developing as an individual on his watch. Nice guy, glad to see him gone.

The ONLY 2 assistants that accomplished anything under Dooley are Graham and Pittman. EVERYONE else just needs to go as soon as possible.

tdvol1989 writes:

in response to oldster:

If Jones dumps the O line coach, Darin Hinshaw and Conklin, he will be making his second, third and fourth mistakes since taking the UT job. The first will be having told us that he was going to have the best staff in the US if he brings so many from his staff at Cincinnati. His O line coach may be great, but making a good O line go through their 3rd position coach in 3 years - especially after finally having the kind of year that their talent suggested they should have been having all along - would be ... unwise. Dumping Hinshaw, the recruiting co-ordinator for the kids UT has been in contact with for up to 3 year would be .. risky. Dumping Conklin would be getting rid of probably the most promising coach on Dooley's staff. No, Butch, if you want success, you really need to reconsider this.

Let go. We had a terrible Head Coach and an awful staff. You will see IMMEDIATE improvement in fundamentals as soon as the Orange/White Game. You won't miss anyone. Jay deserved to stay and Pittman was good enough to stay.

trl_x writes:

It might be a mistake not retaining Pittman. The only bright spot in the season was the offensive line.

It's obvious they were coached up.

orange_eVOLution writes:

in response to trl_x:

It might be a mistake not retaining Pittman. The only bright spot in the season was the offensive line.

It's obvious they were coached up.

I really like Pittman and wanted him to stay on. And by Jones not retaining him, it's nothing at all against Pittman. I think Jones respects him very much, but I think Jones is confident with the OL coach he has worked with and believes his guy will produce for Tennessee. That's my take.

oldster writes:

in response to tdvol1989:

Let go. We had a terrible Head Coach and an awful staff. You will see IMMEDIATE improvement in fundamentals as soon as the Orange/White Game. You won't miss anyone. Jay deserved to stay and Pittman was good enough to stay.

I'll bet you that next year's offense will not be as good as the past one if Jones does not keep Pittman and Hinshaw along with Graham.

tovolny writes:

in response to rb4346:

How about Al Wilson at linebackers coach, anyone agree with that?

Al Wilson, one of the main reasons we won the crystal in '98. I have been posting and pleading to bring Al back ever since he retired from the NFL. The guy is smart and he just has GAME. If a player misses a tackle due to one arm tactics and not much effort, Wilson would light them up just like he did when he was the UT Captain.

Also, I wonder if Scott Wells and Chad Clifton would be available to coach up the O line. They have championship rings on several fingers.

We need an actual, sure enough, dedicated KICKING coach plus a dedicated special teams coach. I look at a staff, and if they list a coach as, say, tight ends and special teams coach, I know that they won't be very good at special teams or tight end.

trl_x writes:

in response to orange_eVOLution:

I really like Pittman and wanted him to stay on. And by Jones not retaining him, it's nothing at all against Pittman. I think Jones respects him very much, but I think Jones is confident with the OL coach he has worked with and believes his guy will produce for Tennessee. That's my take.

I can't blame Jones for bringing in his guys. That's generally par for the course.

Let's just hope he's as good as Pittman. Whoever he is.

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