University of Recruiting

Upon taking the head coaching reins at Tennessee on Dec. 1, Lane Kiffin said he had a plan. Obviously, that plan was to hire a staff of big-time recruiters.

Five of the nine assistants are former recruiting coordinators:

Frank Wilson, who apparently will be the new receivers coach, filled that role at Southern Miss in 2008.

Lance Thompson, who apparently will be the new linebackers coach, held that title at Georgia Tech (1995-98) and at LSU (2003).

Jim Chaney, who apparently will be the new tight ends coach, coordinated the recruiting work at Purdue (1997-2001).

David Reaves, who apparently will be the new quarterbacks coach, oversaw the recruiting efforts at South Carolina (2006-08).

Ed Orgeron, who will be the defensive line coach, was recruiting coordinator at Southern Cal (2001-04) and will carry that title at UT.

In addition, it surely is no coincidence that Tennessee's new staff has recruiting contacts in states that typically produce high-caliber prospects.

For instance:

Gran has coached in Florida (grad assistant at Miami), in Mississippi (at Ole Miss 1994-98) and in Alabama (at Auburn 1999-2008).

Wilson has coached in Louisiana (head man at O. Perry Walker High School 2000-03) and in Mississippi (at Ole Miss 2005-07 and at Southern Miss 2008).

Willie Mack Garza has coached in Michigan (Western Michigan 1997-2000) and talent-rich Texas (Texas Christian University 2001-03). He spent the past four years at North Dakota State.

Thompson has coached in Georgia (at Georgia Tech 1995-98), in Louisiana (2002-03), in Florida (at Central Florida 2004-06) and in Alabama (at Bama 1999, 2007-08).

Orgeron has coached in Florida (at Miami 1988-92), in Louisiana (at Nicholls State 1994), in New York (at Syracuse 1995-97), in California (at Southern Cal 1998-2004) and in Mississippi (head man at Ole Miss 2005-07).

Reaves has coached in South Carolina (at South Carolina 2002-08).

Jim Chaney has coached in California (at Cal-Fullerton 1985) and in Indiana (at Purdue 1997-2001). He also served on the staff at Wyoming from 1993 through 96.

James Cregg has coached in New York (at Colgate 2000-03). He also spent stints at Colorado State (grad assistant in 1997-99) and Idaho (2004-06).

The only Vol aide lacking recent experience on the recruiting trail, of course, is defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. He hasn't worked in the college ranks since he left the head coaching position at North Carolina State in 1982.


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