Sal Sunseri Coaching Career
2009-11: Alabama, Assistant Head Coach/Linebackers
2002-08: Carolina Panthers, Defensive Line
2001: Michigan State, Linebackers/Special Teams
2000: LSU, Linebackers/Special Teams
1998-99: Alabama A&M, Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
1995-97: Louisville, Linebackers
1994: Illinois State, Defensive Coordinator
1993: Iowa Wesleyan, Assistant Head Coach/Def. Coordinator/Special Teams
1985-92: Pittsburgh, Defensive Line/Linebackers/Assistant Head Coach (1992)
Derek Dooley has his man.
And the Tennessee coach has dipped into the staff of his old boss for his next defensive coordinator.
Fresh off a role in helping produce a second national championship in three years, Alabama outside linebackers coach Sal Sunseri has been tabbed to take over the defense for the Vols after interviewing for the position on Wednesday.
"Sal has had unparalleled success over the last decade in not only contributing to team and unit success, but also in his ability to motivate and develop elite individual talent," Dooley said in a UT release Friday. "His combination of defensive knowledge, recruiting success, high-energy personality, ability to connect with players and personal integrity and character make him an exceptional fit for Tennessee."
The Vols needed a little more than 10 days to find the right fit, eventually tabbing Sunseri after he spent the last three seasons working under Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban. Sunseri brings ties to both Dooley and new athletic director Dave Hart with him to the Vols as he replaces Justin Wilcox, who left earlier this month for the same position at Washington.
According to the source familiar with the personnel but not authorized to speak publicly, Sunseri will be given a three-year contract with a total compensation of $2.4 million.
"The chance to work with Derek Dooley, who has been around championships and knows what it takes to build an elite program, combined with the rich tradition of the University of Tennessee makes this opportunity so exciting to me," Sunseri said in a release. "I am fired up to work with all the young talent on the defensive side of the ball, and I can't wait to get up to Knoxville and coach them."
With a critical recruiting weekend on tap and the hiring now official, it doesn't figure to be long until Sunseri gets to campus and to work.
Dooley is scheduled to meet the media this afternoon.