Butch Jones and company didn't waste any time on this hire. John Jancek was let go on Wednesday, and on Saturday:
And just like that, Tennessee's search for a defensive coordinator is over.
We joked about having all this experience with coaching moves, but the fact is Tennessee's last two searches have been about as smooth sailing as you can ask. It took the Vols five days to land Rick Barnes last March, and in moving forward with a new defensive coordinator here again Tennessee landed what looks like its one and only target.
Bob Shoop comes from James Franklin's staff at Penn State and Vanderbilt, where the biggest takeaway is what his defenses have done with disadvantages. Vanderbilt is always behind the eight ball in the SEC, and they beat the Vols twice in three tries with Shoop's defenses allowing an average of just 276.6 yards in those three games. As we pointed out earlier this week, Shoop's defenses at Vandy were in the Top 25 in yards per play allowed each year. Then at Penn State, while facing scholarship restrictions, Penn State finished 3rd and 15th in yards per play allowed under Shoop.
With the 2016 Vols, Shoop will be playing with a full deck. Tennessee will return eight starters on defense if Cam Sutton and Jalen Reeves-Maybin return to school from John Jancek's already-good unit that finished 39th in yards per play allowed, 16th in scoring defense, and third in third down conversions allowed.
The change at defensive coordinator was designed to go from good to great. With this hire, Tennessee appears to have taken another step in that direction as the 2016 hype train rolls on.