Danny Parker

Tennessee's Butch Jones points to Larry Scott for staff vacancy

Mark Elder's leaving Tennessee to be head coach at Eastern Kentucky left a vacancy on Tennessee's offensive coaching staff. Butch Jones filled that spot Monday.

Must have experience coaching tight ends and recruiting supreme athletes to compete at the Southeastern Conference level.

Larry Scott not only has a résumé that includes both skills but has done so at a high level at a major program.

Tennessee had a staff vacancy for an assistant on its offensive staff to do fulfill both roles. Butch Jones filled that spot Monday by naming Larry Scott as the replacement for Mark Elder, who resigned in favor of the head coaching job at Eastern Kentucky.

Elder stayed on through the month of December and worked in the booth to help the Volunteers defeat No. 13 Northwestern 45-6 in the Outback Bowl. Less than 72 hours after Elder's final tasks on staff with the Volunteers, Jones found his man.

Scott worked as Miami’s interim head coach in place of Al Golden and led the Hurricanes to a 4-2 record. Scott’s main title was as run game coordinator and tight ends coach under Golden.

“First with coach Scott, he’s probably one of the most down-to-earth coaches I’ve ever met,” Scout regional recruiting analyst Corey Bender told InsideTennessee. “He’s a guy that really has a kid’s best interests in mind. You always hear that and it’s a cliché but it’s truly a thing with coach Scott. He’s one of the more down-to-earth, good guys as far as college coaches that you’ll meet, a real personable guy, a guy that can really connect with a lot of families and obviously that shows with why he got that interim gig with Miami. They had James Coley, they had Art Kehoe, they have a bunch of other guys that have been around and some other guys that have been at Florida State and been around longer than coach Scott and he still got the interim gig. I think that shows a lot, especially a program like Miami, just kind of the faith they have in Larry Scott as far as him not just as a coach and a recruiter but as a guy that can really take charge and run a program.

“Maybe in a few years it wouldn’t shock me if he got a head coaching gig, maybe at a small school to start out.”

The Sebring, Florida, native played offensive tackle at South Florida (1997-99) and joined the Bulls staff in 2005 after coordinator and position coaching jobs at Wharton High School and Freedom High School. After working as director of high school relations, Scott logged a year as a USF graduate assistant and then earned a job as the Bulls’ tight ends coach. He joined Miami’s staff in 2013.

At tight end for Tennessee, Scott inherits sophomore Ethan Wolf, who caught 23 passes for 301 yards and two touchdowns in 2015. Redshirt senior Alex Ellis played his final game in orange in the 45-6 Outback Bowl victory. Redshirt freshman Neiko Creamer and sophomore Jakob Johnson provide depth at the position. 

On the Vols’ commitment list for the 2016 cycle are a pair of Scout three-star prospects in No. 28-ranked tight end Devanté Brooks and No. 66-ranked Austin Pope.

Scott's recruiting region for the Hurricanes was the Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg area. Presently, recruiting coordinator Robert Gillespie handles that area for Tennessee.

“Now that coach Scott’s there, it will be pretty interesting because all of those kids will have a connection to Tennessee now,” Bender said. “For the ’17 class, especially for the ones in Tampa like Zachary Carter and all the high four-star kids, that’s a great move. All these kids in Florida love him. When I did the survey as far as what kids wanted in a head coach for Miami, a lot of kids (before Mark Richt) wanted to see coach Scott get a chance to stay on as the head coach. He’s a good dude. He’s a guy that’s a real great dude. He’s a great guy that really connects with families, really connects with kids.

“Any staff would love to have that guy I think, especially for Florida. Tennessee has great connections in Florida. This is only going to help, especially in the Tampa Bay/St. Pete area because of his reputation with him being at USF for 4-5 years and then recruiting this area for Miami, that’s going to pay a lot of dividends, especially with the ’17 class and a full year for him to sell the Tennessee program. That’s going to be good because all of these kids have Tennessee interest. Now I think that’s going to be even better now that they know a guy like coach Scott is going to be there and a guy that’s been recruiting them for almost a year now.”

Scott's hiring is just the second Butch Jones has had to make on his staff of nine assistants. The other being bringing on Mike DeBord as offensive coordinator last winter to replace Mike Bajakian, who left for an assistant job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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