A little under a week after officially being announced as a member of Tennessee’s new staff, Robert Gillespie is no longer with the program. Volquest.com reported the news this morning. It was a surprising development that we still don’t have many details on.
For Jeremy Pruitt, he now has to make one more hire to round out his staff once again. Here are a few of the names that we’ve seen floating around the Twittersphere this afternoon.
None of these may be the final answer, but these are the early names gaining traction.
Graham’s name was where most people turned to first, citing his ties to Tennessee and Jeremy Pruitt.
The coach that gave former Vol RB & current Texas AM RB coach Jay Graham his start in coaching in the mid 2000s as a QC - Phillip Fulmer. Graham helped @VolBeast21 @govols21 take their games to another level.— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) February 13, 2018
Graham coached the running backs at Florida State during Pruitt’s brief stay there as the defensive coordinator. Graham was the running backs coach at Tennessee for Derek Dooley, before agreeing to stay on with Butch Jones. Shortly after that, he left for Florida State.
He’s currently at Texas A&M, following Jimbo Fisher to his new gig. Graham is serving as the running backs coach for the Aggies.
He played for Tennessee as a running back from 1990-92, running for over 2,500 yards in his career. Could he return home and round out Jeremy Pruitt’s initial staff?
Weinke was in the mix for some sort of role on the Tennessee staff back in December, but nothing materialized. He served as an offensive analyst for Alabama last year. According to John Brice, Weinke is a name to watch.
Filing story to @GridironNow but would watch former Heisman winner & recent Tide analyst Chris Weinke for @Vol_Football RB post emptied by parting ways with @UTCoachG Robert Gillespie— John Brice (@JohnDBrice1) February 13, 2018
Weinke was the head coach at the IMG Academy in the high school ranks before becoming the quarterbacks coach of the Rams. Those ties to the IMG academy would certainly be an asset in recruiting.
This is nothing more than playing connect the dots here, but Burns has been on the Alabama staff since 2007. He’s spent plenty of time with Pruitt over the years, but has a pretty cushy job down in Tuscaloosa. Maybe if the price is right, Pruitt could lure him away from the Crimson Tide. I’m not holding my breath, though.
The former Tennessee standout runner was hired by Jeremy Pruitt last month as a quality control coach. Hardesty coached running backs at Norfolk State before joining Lane Kiffin’s staff at FAU in August. Could filling this role be as simple as promoting a former Volunteer?