After just three days of searching, Tennessee has found its newest defensive coordinator. The Vols have scooped a Shoop.
Penn State defensive coordinator Bob Shoop has agreed to take the same position at Tennessee, the school announced Saturday. Shoop's buyout is reportedly $800,000, but Tennessee will not be responsible for paying it. Shoop will receive a three-year contract that pays him $1.15 million annually.
The 27-year coaching veteran spent the past two seasons shaping the Nittany Lions' defensive unit into one of the best in the Big 10. Under Shoops' watch, Penn State finished fourteenth in the NCAA in total defense, giving up just 324.5 yards per game. His unit also forced 22 turnovers in 2015 and boasted the No. 8 pass defense in the country. In 2014, the Nittany Lions finished No. 2 in the FBS in yards allowed per game at 278 yards a clip.
“We are very excited about the addition of Bob Shoop to our coaching staff,” Butch Jones said in a release. “Bob has established himself as one of the premier coordinators in all of college football and is very well-respected as a recruiter, football coach and person. He brings a wealth of experience at the highest level and possesses all the qualities we were looking for as we went through this process. He has directed units that have finished in the Top 25 nationally in each of the last five years and he will do a great job of developing our players on the defensive side of the ball.”
Before accepting the job at Penn State, Shoop spent three seasons as the defensive coordinator at Vanderbilt, where his units finished in the Top 25 in total defense every season. In his three meetings against Tennessee while with the Commodores, Shoop's unit held the Vols to an average of 16 points per contest.
“I would like to thank Mr. Hart and coach Jones for giving me this opportunity,” Shoop said. “I also want to thank coach (James) Franklin, the Penn State players and coaches and the Penn State community for an incredible two seasons. This was not an easy decision and one that I didn’t take lightly. Over the last 24 hours I had an opportunity with meet with coach Jones and his staff. It became evident to me that hey is building a great program, a program on the rise and certainly one that will compete for an SEC Championship. I’m looking forward to becoming a part of the team.”
A 1989 graduate of Yale, Shoop first broke through the coordinator at his alma mater in 1994. After stops at Army and Boston College, the first-year Tennessee defensive coordinator accepted the head coaching position at Columbia, where he compiled a 7-23 record from 2003-05.
The hire marks head coach Butch Jones' second defensive coordinator at Tennessee since taking over in 2013. Jones and former defensive coordinator John Jancek "mutually agreed to part ways" Wednesday. The Vols' defense finished seventh in the SEC giving up 362 yards and 20 points per game.