After a few weeks of stability, Tennessee is again in the market for an assistant football coach.
A staff that has six new faces will add a seventh before spring practice starts later this month, with Terry Joseph the latest to leave the Vols for a position elsewhere.
Joseph told govols247.com on Friday that he has accepted an offer to become secondary coach at Nebraska, leaving UT after two seasons and parting ways with Derek Dooley after a total of five years together following a stint at Louisiana Tech.
Joseph has worked with Nebraska coach Bo Pelini and defensive coordinator John Papuchis at LSU.
Joseph, the recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach who would have earned $250,000 this year, was set to have slightly different role with the Vols moving forward thanks to the addition of another body in the secondary with new defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri dividing the responsibilities in the back end. Joseph was tabbed to handle the safeties, and recent hire Derrick Ansley was put in charge of cornerbacks.
The addition of Ansley appeared to complete the staff for Dooley heading into his third season at the helm, but that didn’t even last a full month for a program that has undergone dramatic changes since the end of a 5-7 campaign last November.
Since parting ways with wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett shortly after the season-ending loss at Kentucky, UT has had six more assistants leave for jobs elsewhere — a transition that put a strain on Joseph and the only other holdovers from the start of Dooley’s tenure, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and assistant Darin Hinshaw.
“I think there would have been a significant amount of change even had we won at Kentucky,” Dooley told the News Sentinel last month. “I believe that. But I think that made it a lot easier for everybody, and I think that it was a healthy and needed thing in our program — not because the guys that left weren’t good coaches, but to sort of allow this young team to now have some new energy come in and put what they’ve done in the past behind them and grow up, not have to have those relationship scars that are formed.
“The new coaches come in with a new, energetic approach — and they want to be here.”
Now the Vols need to find one more.