UA Coach Reported Headed To Vols

Although there is no official announcement from Alabama, there have been no denials either. Lance Thompson is leaving the Alabama football coaching staff to join the staff of new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin. He is the second linebackers coach to leave the Crimson Tide staff since the end of the season.

With Lance Thompson leaving Alabama, he becomes the second member of Coach Nick Saban's defensive staff to find employment elsewhere since the Sugar Bowl. Thompson is staying in the Southeastern Conference, going to Tennessee. Previously it had been announced that Kevin Steele (ironically, a Tennessee graduate) would be going to Clemson as defensive coordinator.

Steele coached inside linebackers in Bama's 3-4 scheme and Thompson, coached outside linebackers.

Although there was no official announcement from Alabama regarding Thompson's departure, a call to his University-issued cell phone got an out of service result.

An unsubstantiated report from Tennessee is that Thompson's salary of about $200,000 at Alabama would be doubled by the Vols.

Thompson is leaving Alabama for the second time and also leaving Saban for the second time. Thompson had been on the Mike DuBose staff at Alabama and was with Saban at LSU. He served as defensive coordinator at Central Florida for three years before rejoining the Bama staff and Saban when Saban was hired as Crimson Tide head coach two years ago.

Prior to his first stint at Alabama, Thompson was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Georgia Tech.

Although Thompson gets credit for Bama's excellent defense last season, he is particularly well known for his recruiting ability. Alabama had been almost shut out of the Mobile area for several years prior to Saban's arrival. With Thompson working the Gulf Coast region, Bama got a number of high-profile recruits -- including Julio Jones -- and had the nation's number one recruiting class last February.

Among others, the Vols are hoping to get a visit from A.J. McCarron of Mobile St. Paul's, the outstanding quarterback who had previously committed to Alabama and who was recruited by Thompson.

Saban is out of town and there have been no comments regarding a timetable for replacing Steele or Thompson.

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