Vols hire Stan Drayton

Tennessee has hired Florida assistant Stan Drayton as running backs coach, a slight departure from Phillip Fulmer's game plan.

Fulmer said he wanted to name an offensive coordinator, then consult with the new offensive leader about filling three offensive vacancies. But Fulmer apparently didn't want to wait on hiring Drayton, fearing the former NFL assistant might head to another job, perhaps in the NFL again.

Why would an assistant at Florida leave for Tennessee?

``For me, it's putting long-term goals in place,'' Drayton said Tuesday night. ``Florida is a phenomenal place and I love it here. But if I want to reach my long-term goals, I need to get into a situation where the running back is involved.

``Florida has an explosive offense, but if you have NFL aspirations, you need to be in a system where the running back is featured. Who can doubt the running back tradition at Tennessee? Tennessee has had big-time backs and I understand Phil's mindset toward the running game.''

Drayton also said it's a chance to learn another system and to add to his resume.

The resume includes a stint with the Green Bay Packers as the offensive quality control and assistant special teams coach, working with Bruce Warwick, who is UT's director of football operations.

Drayton also coached running backs at Villanova (1996-2000) where he worked with Richmond coach Dave Clawson, a finalist for the UT offensive coordinator job.

Fulmer was to interview Tuesday night former Michigan offensive coordinator Mike DeBord, who rang up 41 points in a bowl upset over Florida but had trouble scoring against Ohio State.

DeBord, who coaches tight ends, has coached with former Michigan quarterbacks coach Scot Loeffler, who interviewed with Fulmer in Tampa before the Outback Bowl.

If Fulmer hires DeBord, don't be surprised if he also hires Loeffler.

Clawson and DeBord are considered the top two candidates to replace David Cutcliffe.


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