Report: Tennessee closing in on defensive coordinator hire

Orange & White Nation

General view before the game between the Tennessee Volunteers and the Florida Gators at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 5, 2020. (Randy Sartin/Knoxville News Sentinel via AP, Pool)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Tennessee is finalizing a deal for a new defensive coordinator to add to new head coach Josh Heupel’s staff, according to a report from Yahoo Sports.

Pete Thamel, a college football and basketball reporter for Yahoo Sports, reported Tennessee is close to a deal with Penn State co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks to join the Vols.

Banks, 49, played college football at Central Michigan and has served as a coach in a variety of roles since 1996. He first served as a defensive coordinator at his alma mater from 2007 to 2009. He was a co-defensive coordinator at Cincinnati and Illinois before serving in the same position at Penn State since 2016.

Thamel reported on Thursday that Tennessee is hiring Auburn associate head coach and defensive line coach Rodney Garner to serve as the latter on Heupel’s staff. Garner previously coached tight ends and offensive tackles at Tennessee from 1996-1997.

The report follows unofficial news over the weekend that Tennessee has added four new offensive coaches to the coaching staff. Alex Golesh, another former UCF staff member, will reportedly take over as offensive coordinator and tight ends coach at Tennessee.

The full schedules for all 14 SEC schools were released in late January and saw the return of nonconference opponents to the slate after an SEC-only schedule in 2020. Tennessee will kick-off its 2021 season on Sept. 4 against Bowling Green State University.

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