What has been rumored for weeks is now reportedly coming true. Rodney Garner, per a report from Pete Thamel, is headed to Knoxville to be Tennessee’s next defensive line coach.
Sources: Tennessee is hiring Rodney Garner as the defensive line coach. He was last at Auburn and brings extensive SEC experience, including stints at Georgia and Tennessee.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) February 12, 2021
Garner brings a wealth of SEC experience to the table, serving on an SEC sideline in some capacity for 30 years now. Garner was a former SEC offensive lineman at Auburn, which is also where his coaching career began. The 54 year old defensive assistant has spent time at Georgia, Tennessee and Auburn over the past three decades. His time at Auburn ended following the firing of Gus Malzahn.
Of course, the hiring of a defensive line coach before a defensive coordinator is interesting, but Garner fits what Tennessee needs. Josh Heupel’s staff needed some SEC experience, and you can’t ask for much more than Garner brings. He actually helped recruit several members of Tennessee’s 1998 national championship team during a brief stay in Knoxville.
Garner is credited with helping to land nine five-star recruits during his career, including Derrick Brown, Montravius Adams and Carl Lawson.
With Garner in place, all eyes now turn back to the defensive coordinator hire. Former Volunteer Kacy Rodgers is the latest name to come through the rumor mill — we’ll see if anything gets done there.