What will new aide coach?

Tennessee's newest assistant football coach has an impressive track record working with wide receivers, yet he may not coach wideouts for the Vols.

Trooper Taylor, who joined the UT staff this week after a five-year stint at Tulane, produced the NCAA's top receiving trio in 2001. Adrian Burnette, Kerwin Cook and Terrell Harris combined to lead the country with 2,384 receiving yards on 185 catches that season. Two years earlier, Burnett and JaJuan Dawson were the only Div. 1-A receiving duo to each gain more 1,000 yards.

In spite of these glowing credentials, Taylor may not be coaching UT's wideouts. Hired to replace Woody McCorvey, who coached Vol running backs before leaving last month to become offensive coordinator at Mississippi State, Taylor may assume Tennessee's tailbacks and fullbacks.

John Painter, UT sports information director for football, said Tuesday afternoon that head coach Phillip Fulmer had not yet announced whether Taylor will coach receivers or running backs. Apparently, the Vol boss is still mulling his options. If Taylor is put in charge of wideouts, current WR coach Pat Washington likely will work with UT's running backs.

A 1992 Baylor graduate, Taylor finished his playing career as the school's career leader in kickoff returns (53) and return yardage (1,063). He joined the coaching staff at his alma mater following graduation, and spent two seasons as a graduate assistant before being named wide receivers coach in 1994. He then coached Baylor's secondary for two years before returning to the wide receivers for one year.

Before joining the staff at Tulane, Taylor spent the 1998 season as running backs coach at New Mexico. Thus, his resume' shows seven years coaching receivers and only one year coaching running backs. The question is: Which will he coach at Tennessee?

Whoever coaches UT's wideouts in 2004 will be overseeing a talented bunch. The pass catchers will include rising seniors Tony Brown and Derrick Tinsley, rising juniors James Banks, Chris Hannon, C.J. Fayton and Jomo Fagan, rising sophomores Jayson Swain and Bret Smith, plus redshirt freshmen Robert Meachem and Bill Grimes.


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