Former Tennessee tight ends/special teams coach Eric Russell, who took a job as new coach Mike Leach's special teams coordinator at Washington State in December, said uncertainty at UT contributed toward his decision to leave Derek Dooley's staff.
Russell, who was the second of seven assistants to leave UT since the end of the 2011 season, told the Spokane (Wash.) Spokesman-Review that his decision had little to do with the fact that he would be closer to his hometown of St. Maries, Idaho.
"I think at Tennessee, it was going to come down to how many games you won the next year, and unfortunately nobody's got a crystal ball," said Russell, making his first public comments since his departure. "I tried to take the sentimental stuff out of it. A chance to be an assistant head coach and concentrate purely on special teams was a little bit of a unique situation."
Russell worked with Dooley at Louisiana Tech 2007-08 before joining Leach at Texas Tech in 2009. He reunited with Dooley at UT in 2010.
Russell was set to make $275,000 at UT in 2012. He will make $225,000 at Washington State, according to the Spokesman-Review.
The most recent coach to leave Dooley's staff, former safeties coach/recruiting coordinator Terry Joseph, was officially announced as the new defensive backs coach at Nebraska on Wednesday.
Terms of Joseph's agreement were not disclosed.
"Coming to a place like Nebraska was a great opportunity for me," Joseph said in a university release. "And then to throw in the chance to work with (Coach) Bo (Pelini) again, it was the perfect fit. I am excited to get to work with our players and other coaches as we start spring ball and get prepared for the season."