Josh Heupel has reportedly made another addition to his staff. Per multiple reports, Tennessee will hire Brian Jean-Mary to coach linebackers under newly hired defensive coordinator Tim Banks.
Jean-Mary was with Michigan for the 2020 season. Before that, he spent several seasons working under Charlie Strong at Louisville, Texas and South Florida. He would be the fourth hire that Josh Heupel has made on the defensive side of the ball, leaving just one on-field spot remaining on staff. Jean Mary will work under Banks, and alongside of SEC veteran assistants Rodney Garner on the defensive line and Willie Martinez in the secondary.
The 45-year-old coach is a former player at Appalachian State and has now coached linebackers for over 15 seasons. Jean-Mary also has a few years of experience as a defensive coordinator, serving in that role for Strong at South Florida.
Jean-Mary will now walk into a tough situation at Tennessee with Henry To’o To’o, the best defensive player on the roster, still remaining in the transfer portal. There seems to at least be some thought that Quavarius Crouch will go through spring practice with Tennessee, giving the new staff a chance. Jeremy Banks is another veteran option for Jean-Mary. Outside of that, he’ll have a chance to mold young players like Bryson Eason, Martavius French, Morven Joseph and Aaron Beasley.
The question left from here is this — what does Heupel do with his remaining spot on staff? Does he hire a special teams coach? Or add another specialized assistant on the defensive side? We should have that answer in the coming days.