UT adds grad assistant

Tennessee head coach Phillip Fulmer finalized his 2007 coaching staff Tuesday by naming Raasaan Haralson to a graduate assistant's position.

The 34-year-old Baton Rouge, La., native is focusing his talents on the defensive side of the ball after having spent the last two years as a UT assistant strength and conditioning coach. Under head strength coach Johnny Long, Haralson assisted with all aspects of football's year-round training regimen.

But Haralson's previous passion was coaching football, something he spent four seasons doing as an assistant coach at Istrouma High School in Baton Rouge.

"My last year of coaching was fall 2003," Haralson said. "It's kind of unexpected. It was a thrill for me to come to the University of Tennessee and work for Johnny Long. He gave me an opportunity to work with football and conditioning the defensive backs, which was my roots.

"I guess I made a good impression on the coaching staff and the players with my hard work. They must have seen that I had a passion for what I was doing and now I am humbled to be given this opportunity."

Haralson played defensive back at Southern University under head coach Pete Richardson, helping spark the Jaguars to a pair of 11-1 seasons that each ended in Heritage Bowl victories. A highlight was being named Southwestern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week after intercepting three passes during a 1995 game against Texas Southern.

"I guess I was an over-achiever as a player and everywhere since then it's been a case of my working hard to put myself in position to be successful," Haralson said. "I wouldn't say it's overwhelming to be here, but the coaches are teaching me and allowing me to learn. I'm very appreciative of the situation."

Haralson is married to the former Cortni Hall, also of Baton Rouge, and the couple has a 5-month-old daughter named Emery.

"We are excited to have Raasaan with us," Fulmer said. "He has been with our program for some time in the strength and conditioning area, and his background and expertise is coaching and playing in the secondary. We're looking forward to his filling a much-needed role helping John Chavis and Larry Slade prepare for the 2007 season."

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