THE CHARLIE COINER FILE
From: Waynesboro, Va.
New position: Tennessee special teams coordinator and tight ends coach
Last position: Defensive assistant coach at North Carolina in 2010
By the numbers: Helped lead a young group of tight ends to career numbers during his four years with the Buffalo Bills, including career highs for Robert Royal in receptions (33) and yardage (351) during the 2008 season. In all, Coiner’s top-three tight ends combined for 58 catches and contributed as blockers for a rushing attack that ranked fifth in the AFC.
Coaching career: Appalachian State (1983-86), graduate assistant; Minnesota (1987), defensive line and kicking game; Austin Peay (1988-90), offensive line/special teams/linebackers; Vanderbilt (1991-93), special teams/recruiting; Texas Southern (1994 and 2000), various positions; Louisville (1995-97), tight ends/recruiting; Tennessee-Chattanooga (1998), linebackers; LSU (1999), special teams/wide receivers/recruiting; Chicago Bears (2001-05), tight ends and assistant special teams coach; Buffalo Bills (2006-09), tight ends; North Carolina (2010), defensive line.
Space is running out on the Tennessee coaching staff.
It seems the Vols are on the brink of filling one more of the six vacancies they've had in the offseason.
According to a source familiar with the personnel but not authorized to speak publicly on Thursday, former North Carolina assistant and NFL coaching veteran Charlie Coiner appears set to become the next special teams coordinator for the Vols.
The program did not formally announce the move, which is expected to give Coiner, 51, responsibilities with the specialists and the tight ends that were formerly held by Eric Russell before he left for a similar position at Washington State.
The vacancy created by Russell's departure was among the first the Vols were left to fill since the season ended last November, with defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox, linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, offensive line coach Harry Hiestand and defensive line coach Lance Thompson all electing to take positions elsewhere after wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett retired.
After initially pursuing San Diego Chargers special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia to fill one of the last two spots on Derek Dooley's third staff at UT, the program wound up targeting another assistant with NFL experience to handle that role — and will have only one more spot available with Coiner in the fold.
Coiner's last stop in the collegiate ranks was a brief one, filling in on the defensive line for the Tar Heels for a season after being fired along with the rest of the Buffalo Bills staff in early 2010.
He had spent nine years prior to his stint with North Carolina in the NFL, working with tight ends and special teams during stops with the Bills and Chicago Bears.
Coiner brings extensive experience at the NCAA level as well, including time with Minnesota, Austin Peay, Vanderbilt, Texas Southern, Louisville, Chattanooga and LSU before jumping to the NFL with the Bears in 2001.
Most recently he has worked with a software company he created, 1stDown Technologies, which produced an application for the iPad and iPhone that features 2,600 interactive plays used by teams at different levels.
"Rather than having to search for plays drawn on a napkin or filed in three-ring binders, this puts everything in place," Coiner told the Austin American-Statesman. "The idea is to let coaches spend more time developing football players and less time designing plays."
The chance for Coiner to do both of those again appears to be coming soon.