Warren comes to Knoxville after two seasons at North Carolina where he played a key role in the 2015 Tar Heels pass defense being the most improved in the country. This past season, North Carolina gave up an ACC low 11 touchdown passes.
"We would like to welcome Coach Warren, his wife, Jocelyn, and their three children to the Tennessee family," Tennessee coach Butch Jones said on UT Sports. “Coach Warren is a passionate, knowledgeable and driven football coach that has an outstanding history of developing defensive backs on the collegiate level. He also has a great reputation as one of the top recruiters in the country with strong ties to our recruiting areas. We feel extremely fortunate to add someone of his caliber to our coaching staff and our defensive meeting room.
Warren replaces Willie Martinez, who had been at Tennessee for four years and was a part of Butch Jones’ first staff hires.
“I have known Willie Martinez for a long time and have the utmost respect for him as a coach and a person,” Jones said. “I want to thank him for all his contributions to the Tennessee program over the past four seasons. Making changes on your staff is never easy, but we feel it's necessary as we move forward as a program."
“I would call him a go-getter,” Scout national analyst Chad Simmons said. “He knows how to recruit with energy and persistence. He is very detailed, very organized and he is someone who high school coaches like. He’s obviously doing a great job on the field developing kids too at Nebraska and North Carolina.”
North Carolina ranked No. 12 in the nation in pass yards allowed (180.8 per game) and No. 93 in third-down conversion percentage defense (42.6).
By comparison, Tennessee relinquished 230.7 yards per game through the air, which was No. 72 nationally, and opponents converted on third downs 37.9 percent of the time.
“He’s a really good recruiter, did a really good job at North Carolina developing talent, especially when it came to developing defensive backs,” Scout regional recruiting analyst Michal Clark said. “He’s really helped that unit at North Carolina improve. Charismatic, a lot of enthusiasm. For Tennessee, definitely a nice pick up for them. Going forward it’s going to prove beneficial for Tennessee and in recruiting.”
North Carolina saw Des Lawrence and M.J. Stewart receive All-ACC accolades under Warren’s tutelage.
In his one and only season at Nebraska in 2014, Warren helped guide the Cornhuskers to rank No. 5 in the nation in third-down conversion percentage (30.1) and No. 32 in passing yards allowed (205.8).
Warren is an Air Force Academy graduate (1999) and earned an MBA from Georgia College and State (2003). He played defensive back for the Falcons, lettering three times.
He is an Atlanta native. He and his wife Jocelyn have three children (Chase, Jayree and Teya).