Joseph out, Conklin in

Derek Dooley has filled out his staff once again. Read all the latest in regards to Tennessee football and the Vols coaching staff. Be sure to come to InsideTennessee for all the latest in Tennessee athletics.

The only explanation to a head football coach having to hire seven new assistant coaches in one off-season has to be the he is forming a new staff at a new job, right? Wrong. Derek Dooley has had to do just that following his second season at Tennessee.

Once again, Dooley has filled out his coaching staff for 2012 following the departure of recruiting coordinator and defensive backs coach Terry Joseph.

The newest member of the Tennessee Volunteers staff is former Citadel defensive coordinator and safeties Josh Conklin.

Conklin, who just finished his third season with the Bulldogs, led a defense that ranked among the best in the Southern Conference the past two season.

In 2010, The Citadel allowed averages of 23.4 points and 343.8 yards an outing to rank second and third, respectively, in the league. Only three conference opponents scored more than 20 points, and only South Carolina reached that total over the second half of the season.

Prior to joining the staff at The Citadel, Conklin spent three seasons coaching defensive backs (2007-09) at Wofford and added special teams to his responsibilities in his final season in Spartanburg. With Conklin on the staff, the Terriers led the Southern Conference in scoring defense in 2007 while intercepting a conference-high 20 passes and added 13 picks the following season.

Conklin began his coaching career at South Dakota State, serving as a graduate assistant in 2003 and 2004 before being elevated to a full-time position and coaching the secondary and special teams during the 2005-06 seasons.

The South Dakota State secondary ranked second in the Great West Conference in pass defense in 2006 while Conklin's kickoff return and kickoff coverage teams were the top-ranked units in the conference. That season saw the Jackrabbits finish the year ranked 21st in the nation by the College Sporting News.

Conklin graduated from Dakota State University in 2003 with a degree in physical education. He started at linebacker his junior and senior seasons and was an Academic All-American. He also received a master's degree in sports administration from South Dakota State in 2008.

Tennessee now only has two assistant coaches, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and wide receivers coach Darin Hinshaw, who were beside Dooley during the 2011 season.

Dooley, Conklin and the Tennessee Volunteers open spring practice later this month on March 26.

Chris Price is a staff writer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously an intern for the site for two years before graduating from the University of Tennessee. He joined the InsideTennessee team in 2009.

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