UT running backs coach Robert Gillespie to be paid $300,000

New coach replaced Jay Graham last month

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL
Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie talks with Deanthonie Summerhill during the first spring football practice at Haslam Field last Saturday.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie talks with Deanthonie Summerhill during the first spring football practice at Haslam Field last Saturday.

New Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie will make $300,000 per year with the Vols, a UT spokesperson confirmed Monday in response to an open-records request from the News Sentinel.

Gillespie made $250,000 per year at West Virginia and was given a $50,000 raise shortly before leaving, according to the West Virginia Metro News.

Gillespie replaced Jay Graham, who left for Florida State last month.

Graham, a former Tennessee player, was scheduled to make $260,000 in 2013 and was offered a raise to $300,000 before he left. Florida State has not yet released his new salary.

Gillespie is the sixth-highest paid coach on Butch Jones’ nine-man staff. Receivers coach and recruiting coordinator Zach Azzanni also makes $300,000, according to documents released earlier this year. (See salary information for all of Tennessee's coaches here.)

If Gillespie’s contract is identical to his eight colleagues, he will have the opportunity to receive a roughly $25,000 bowl bonus and $5,000 in camp pay.

All assistant coaches are on two-year deals with mutual buyout clauses.

Gillespie, 33, was a former running back at Florida who coached at South Carolina and Oklahoma State before spending the last two years at West Virginia.

Evan Woodbery covers Tennessee football. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments » 35

BigBadVol writes:

OK. What the point of the article?

HooRay_Vol writes:

in response to BigBadVol:

OK. What the point of the article?

Perhaps to show the Coach Jones and the administration needed to ante up to get Coach Gillesppie after the tried to short change Coach Graham. No wonder he left. No they have to pay anyway. Lesson learned.

Orangeblood13 writes:

that's the biggest bunch of phooey written HooRay, if Jay wanted to be here, he would be here. I didn't see a short change

BigBadVol writes:

They did offer CJG $300,000. He declined.

illinoisvolfan writes:

Personally, I don't care how much he or any of the other coaches are making. If they can coach the Vols back to the top of the SEC, they are worth every penny.

keepitreal4vols writes:

What is $5,000 camp pay?

HooRay_Vol writes:

in response to Orangeblood13:

that's the biggest bunch of phooey written HooRay, if Jay wanted to be here, he would be here. I didn't see a short change

And he may have been if he was given a good contract to begin with. Now we are still paying out the 300K anyway. That's my point.

And BigDad.....your company brings in a new boss and a whole new staff with 8 out of 10 making more than you. You decide to leave because you felt like you were worth more. they hire the next guy at 40K more than you were originally set to make. Would that be fine with you?

BigBadVol writes:

in response to HooRay_Vol:

And he may have been if he was given a good contract to begin with. Now we are still paying out the 300K anyway. That's my point.

And BigDad.....your company brings in a new boss and a whole new staff with 8 out of 10 making more than you. You decide to leave because you felt like you were worth more. they hire the next guy at 40K more than you were originally set to make. Would that be fine with you?

Yes. CJG should have never accepted the position in the first place if the money was not good enough. He did accept it then skipped out like a little brat. Whatever.

RedBoilingSpringsVol writes:

Just win baby!

laraccoon writes:

it plainly says in the article Graham was offered a raise to 300k the same as they are paying the new guy . Graham just wanted more control or a better title or something. Hooray needs to remember UT athletic dept. is having a cash crunch and im sure Hart is going to limit most salaries to some sensible extent. JMO

6972 writes:

I am wondering if they would just pay me $150K to tell the backs, "Don't fumble, run fast, and run over people"? If they would be interested, I'd be interested.....just wondering.

SummittsCourt writes:

in response to HooRay_Vol:

Perhaps to show the Coach Jones and the administration needed to ante up to get Coach Gillesppie after the tried to short change Coach Graham. No wonder he left. No they have to pay anyway. Lesson learned.

I think Jay Graham was always on the way out anyway. In my opinion the hire of Gillispie is an upgrade.

MGVOL22 writes:

in response to keepitreal4vols:

What is $5,000 camp pay?

Money from summer camp profits .... Every school does it

chipmurphy461 writes:

I agree, Gillespie is an upgrade

Orange_Beach writes:

Now if we can only get him a running back to coach.

OrangeDew writes:

in response to Orange_Beach:

Now if we can only get him a running back to coach.

Heard of Jalen Hurd?

PUL4VOLS writes:

I just knew when I saw the title of this article all the sweetsports would show up ragging about Jay Graham leaving. Hey he chose to go. Has it ever been announced what his title is at Seminolecity or his pay there? I may have missed it. But he went out his way, on his terms. Coach G. is now in the stable and let's see what he can do before we ramble on and on and on against him.

usafvol writes:

in response to HooRay_Vol:

Perhaps to show the Coach Jones and the administration needed to ante up to get Coach Gillesppie after the tried to short change Coach Graham. No wonder he left. No they have to pay anyway. Lesson learned.

The big difference is Gillesppie is a proven coach and Graham is not. If you look at the resume's they aren't close..

69grad writes:

A former running back from U of Florida can probably recruit a running back from Florida. Ya think?

thevoice writes:

Wish I made $300 grand at 33.

tovolny writes:

Gillespie, a good coach,(?)...no doubt whatsoever. But is his heart in it? Only time and and some close SEC battles will let us know. I like what I see and have seen up to this point. I haven't had time to really feel this coaching staff, but maybe, the chemistry was not to Jay's liking. I can see Randy Sanders and Jay meshing up. Chaney and Jay were a good fit also. Some people can adapt, some can't. Myself, I can slow dance to "Proud Mary" and look good doing it. It's a gift. One of these days Alice, one of these days.

Razor784 writes:

If Gillespie is truly the best recruiter on the staff, then there's no way he should be the 6th highest paid assistant. I can understand paying the OC and DC the most but other than those two he should be the highest paid.

SouthPaVol writes:

The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. We "almost" got one of four good running backs in 2013, but each one went a different way. The need was there; early playing time was available; we got a pretty good back, but not highly recruited--so, the jury is still out.

Now we have two running backs verbally committed for 2014, one of which is a 5-star back and maybe the top player available in our state. Yes, it's a verbal commitment, but that's the best back we have had committed in three years.

I actually thing Coach Graham could have sealed the Hurd commitment eventually, but it didn't happen before he left. CRG gets the credit for the verbal from Jalen Hurd, which pads his coaching resume' and brings mega-talent to Knoxville.

If Hurd is all that, and I think he will be another great back from a long line of great backs at Tennessee, then CRG is worth every dime the school pays him. In fact, instead of a bowl bonus, perhaps there ought to be a 5-star signing bonus for recruiters. Then the bowl appearances will surely follow. Go Vols!

CroKev writes:

in response to SouthPaVol:

The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. We "almost" got one of four good running backs in 2013, but each one went a different way. The need was there; early playing time was available; we got a pretty good back, but not highly recruited--so, the jury is still out.

Now we have two running backs verbally committed for 2014, one of which is a 5-star back and maybe the top player available in our state. Yes, it's a verbal commitment, but that's the best back we have had committed in three years.

I actually thing Coach Graham could have sealed the Hurd commitment eventually, but it didn't happen before he left. CRG gets the credit for the verbal from Jalen Hurd, which pads his coaching resume' and brings mega-talent to Knoxville.

If Hurd is all that, and I think he will be another great back from a long line of great backs at Tennessee, then CRG is worth every dime the school pays him. In fact, instead of a bowl bonus, perhaps there ought to be a 5-star signing bonus for recruiters. Then the bowl appearances will surely follow. Go Vols!

Man, the "anti-star" posters are going to eat you for lunch...

Ayres_Hall writes:

in response to SouthPaVol:

The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. We "almost" got one of four good running backs in 2013, but each one went a different way. The need was there; early playing time was available; we got a pretty good back, but not highly recruited--so, the jury is still out.

Now we have two running backs verbally committed for 2014, one of which is a 5-star back and maybe the top player available in our state. Yes, it's a verbal commitment, but that's the best back we have had committed in three years.

I actually thing Coach Graham could have sealed the Hurd commitment eventually, but it didn't happen before he left. CRG gets the credit for the verbal from Jalen Hurd, which pads his coaching resume' and brings mega-talent to Knoxville.

If Hurd is all that, and I think he will be another great back from a long line of great backs at Tennessee, then CRG is worth every dime the school pays him. In fact, instead of a bowl bonus, perhaps there ought to be a 5-star signing bonus for recruiters. Then the bowl appearances will surely follow. Go Vols!

All you need to know is this: Robert Gillispie is the coach at UT and Jay Graham is not.

Go Vols.

DeltaCharlie3 writes:

Humiliating for a former Gator to be stuck coaching at UT. But, times are tough, rough economy, etc. He's gotta do what he's gotta do. Certainly he'll be gone as soon as another gig opens up, just like Graham.

laraccoon writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Humiliating for a former Gator to be stuck coaching at UT. But, times are tough, rough economy, etc. He's gotta do what he's gotta do. Certainly he'll be gone as soon as another gig opens up, just like Graham.

CoverOrange writes:

I don't remember any of Fulmer's assts making that much (not including the coordinators). I blame Kiffin for this.

spencer1989#206886 writes:

in response to HooRay_Vol:

And he may have been if he was given a good contract to begin with. Now we are still paying out the 300K anyway. That's my point.

And BigDad.....your company brings in a new boss and a whole new staff with 8 out of 10 making more than you. You decide to leave because you felt like you were worth more. they hire the next guy at 40K more than you were originally set to make. Would that be fine with you?

Just an added point....It happens everyday in the business world. Over the many years that I have been with my company, folks are brought in (with little experience) making higher wages than some that have been here for several years. I have seen it in people being hired in equivalent positions like mine. Is that fair? Maybe, maybe not. There are many folks that will jump ship on any company after a couple of years to move on (for the simple point of getting a boost in salary). You can easily detect that in their resumes. They do not necessarily have any dedication to the company that hired them....Because a lot of companies have hardly any dedication to the employees today. It's not always about wanting to work for the company any more and more about moving on to better yourself for the future.

DonK37920 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Wish I made $300 grand at 33.

True and also I would laugh all the way to the bank when idiots came on message boards trying to tell me how to make financial decisions about my future. Saying he's not a VFL because he went to another school for either more money or a better title which will lead to more money is so stupid. Good luck Jay! Make us proud and good luck Coach G, I like the direction so far!

vut5686#1405392 writes:

The first poster said it all: "What is the point of this article"? It is as irrelevant as reporting a history professor will make $97,500 or the CEO of the TVA will earn $2,350,000...or whatever. Coaches salaries are absurd, yet fans will complain if they are successful and move on to greener pastures that we did not pay enough. A pointless factoid that stirs up pointless debate.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Humiliating for a former Gator to be stuck coaching at UT. But, times are tough, rough economy, etc. He's gotta do what he's gotta do. Certainly he'll be gone as soon as another gig opens up, just like Graham.

Yeah, kind of like when the gator's hired Ron Zook (an ex-coach at UT)..He was hard-up I guess.

lstbodeanvol writes:

in response to DeltaCharlie3:

Humiliating for a former Gator to be stuck coaching at UT. But, times are tough, rough economy, etc. He's gotta do what he's gotta do. Certainly he'll be gone as soon as another gig opens up, just like Graham.

probably ashamed of the jort wearing fans that live on other teams web sites....

Cobb_Webb_Attack writes:

Mutual buyout clauses? Looks like they hired someone in the Athletic Department to actually write contracts this time. Good work, Hart

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