JOSH CONKLIN FILE
New position: Tennessee safeties coach.
Old position: Defensive coordinator and safeties coach at The Citadel.
By the numbers: During his two seasons with The Citadel, Conklin's defense ranked third in the Southern Conference in total defense and held seven opponents to fewer than 20 points last year. Bulldogs cornerback Cortez Allen was selected in the 2011 draft by Pittsburgh.
Coaching career: South Dakota State (2003-06), graduate assistant, secondary and special teams coach; Wofford (2007-09), defensive backs and special teams; The Citadel (2010-11), defensive coordinator and safeties.
Playing career: Two-year starter and Academic All-America at Dakota State at linebacker.
Education: Physical education degree from Dakota State in 2003 and a master’s in sports administration from South Dakota State in 2008.
For the second time this offseason, the Tennessee coaching staff is complete.
A little more than a week after one more position popped open, the Vols tapped defensive coordinator Josh Conklin from The Citadel to fill the final vacancy and end a stretch that has been full of them for the Vols.
In addition to leading the defense for the Bulldogs for the last two years, Conklin was also responsible for safeties - which is the position he took over Friday in the wake of Terry Joseph's departure to Nebraska last week.
"Josh brings successful coordinator experience and consistent secondary production to our defensive staff," UT coach Derek Dooley said in a school release. "He comes highly recommended and I believe will be a great fit for our football staff."
It's certainly undergone a dramatic facelift over the last three months.
Joseph was the sixth assistant to leave for another program since UT's season ended with a disappointing loss at Kentucky and without a bowl appearance, and he was the seventh overall following the parting of ways with wide receivers coach Charlie Baggett.
The Vols didn't have much time to waste in making one more hire with spring practice set to open on March 26, and they moved quickly to find somebody to work with another new assistant to work with the secondary. As originally planned with Joseph, the duties at the back of the defense will be split between Derrick Ansley with the cornerbacks as Conklin handles the safeties.
The latter's unit ranked third in the Southern Conference in total defense over the last two seasons, and the Bulldogs held seven of their 11 opponents to fewer than 20 points last season. Prior to his stop at The Citadel, Conklin logged three seasons at Wofford, also coaching defensive backs.
"The bottom line is those corners and safeties are getting one-on-one coaches," defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri said last month. "They’re working together, they’re putting it all together ... I mean, these guys are getting one-on-one coaches. It’s hard when everybody has four guys to see everybody at once.
"Now I have eyes on the safeties, I’ve got eyes on the corners."
Once again, the Vols have a full complement of eyes for both.
Austin Ward covers Tennessee football. Follow him at http://twitter.com/Vols_Beat and http://blogs.knoxnews.com/ward.