After a three-month stretch in which he methodically found replacements for six of his nine assistant coaches, Derek Dooley could be in the market for yet another new face for his staff.
Tennessee safeties coach and recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph has been offered a position on coach Bo Pelini’s staff at Nebraska, a source confirmed to the News Sentinel on Thursday.
Joseph, who coached alongside Dooley for three years at Louisiana Tech and followed him to UT in 2010, has not accepted the position but was mulling it over, said the source, who was familiar with the negotiations but not allowed to comment publicly.
Joseph is one of three coaches remaining from Dooley’s 2011 staff. In 2006, Joseph, as a graduate assistant, worked under Pelini, then a defensive coordinator, at LSU.
Pelini lost his defensive backs coach Wednesday, as Corey Raymond accepted the same position at LSU, his alma mater.
Joseph, 38, was named one of 247Sports’ top recruiters in 2012. He served as the lead recruiter for wide receiver Jason Croom (Norcross, Ga.), wide receiver Drae Bowles (Jackson), safety LaDarrell McNeil (Dallas), cornerback Daniel Gray (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), running back Quenshaun Watson (Athens, Ga.) and tight end Justin Meredith (Anderson, S.C.). He also played a big part in the recruitment of junior-college defensive tackle Darrington Sentimore (Destrehan, La.) and running back Davante Bourque (Crowley, La.).
Joseph made $225,000 in 2011 and was set to make $250,000 in 2012, the last year of his most recently released contract. Raymond was set to make $200,000 at Nebraska this season, according to the Omaha World-Herald.
If Joseph were to leave, wide receivers coach Darin Hinshaw and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney would be the only UT assistants remaining from last season.
A former minor league baseball player, Joseph was an assistant high school coach in Louisiana from 1999-2005 before he joined the LSU staff in 2006. One year later, Dooley hired him as Lousiana Tech’s secondary coach/recruiting coordinator.
Joseph was responsible for all of UT’s secondary for the past two seasons, but that was set to change in 2012. Derrick Ansley, a former graduate assistant under new UT defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri at Alabama, became the last of Dooley’s six new additions to the coaching staff and was tabbed with the duty of coaching UT’s cornerbacks. Along with his recruiting coordinator responsibilities, Joseph was expected to handle the safeties.
“He knows the terminology, he knows the adjustments on defense, it’s going to help the learning curve with all the back end in general,” Joseph said during a February interview. “We just felt like that was the best move going into probably our biggest spring since we’ve been here.”
Andrew Gribble may be reached at 865-342-6327. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Andrew_Gribble and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/gribble