What began with the departure of wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett and reached its tipping point late last month when Lance Thompson became the sixth football coach to leave Tennessee during the offseason came to an end Thursday.
The hiring of Derrick Ansley, which was confirmed to the News Sentinel by a source not authorized to speak publicly about personnel matters, gives the Vols a complete group of assistant coaches for the first time since Baggett’s departure and puts an official end to the widespread shake-up on Derek Dooley’s staff.
UT did not officially acknowledge the hire Thursday, but Ansley’s name was listed on the office directory inside the Neyland-Thompson Sports Center.
Ansley, 31, joins the Vols after spending two months as a defensive backs coach on George O’Leary’s staff at Central Florida. Though his time with the Golden Knights was short, he made an impact on the recruiting trail, as he was credited with helping flip former Kentucky commitment Jacoby Glenn, a safety from Mobile, Ala.
He signed on with the Golden Knights after two seasons as a graduate assistant in the secondary at Alabama, where he helped develop Crimson Tide standouts Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie.
Ansley, who was on the sidelines for Alabama’s games, worked directly under defensive coordinator Kirby Smart and assistant coach Jeremy Pruitt. His two years with the program coincided with new UT defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri’s final two seasons at Alabama.
A Tallassee, Ala., native, Ansley played his college ball at Troy. He started 40 consecutive games, finished fifth in the nation with nine interceptions as a junior and graduated as the program’s all-time leader with 19 career interceptions.
Upon graduating from Troy with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism, Ansley went on to coach defensive backs for five years at Huntingdon College, a small Division III school in Montgomery, Ala. Ansley also served as Huntingdon’s recruiting coordinator for three seasons.
Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble