The continued movement for Tennessee’s football program extended to the support staff on Wednesday. FootballScoop is reporting that Tennessee’s Director of Recruiting, Dre Brown, is taking a similar position with Notre Dame football.
Brown is a former Illinois running back, hired by Josh Heupel back in the spring thanks to his relationship with Tennessee’s offensive coordinator Alex Golesh. Brown just graduated in 2019, so his fast rise in the organizational ranks is impressive.
Technically, Brown is taking a slight demotion. His job title at Tennessee was Director of Recruiting, whereas his job at Notre Dame will be as an offensive analyst/recruiting assistant. It’s likely that Notre Dame offered him a pay raise, or offered a clear path to an on-field coaching role. It should go without saying that Notre Dame is also a more attractive job than Tennessee at the moment.
This is a blow to Tennessee—albeit not one that’s long-lasting. Recruiting coordinators have a more clerical role than fans think, and they’re not really the difference in a player’s recruitment. Still, a bad recruiting coordinator is a drag on the effort, and can negatively impact an organization. Whoever Heupel hires next will have to hit the ground running and pick up where Brown left off.
The good news is recruiting is currently in a dead period until the end of July. Coaching staffs are not allowed to make in person contact, and cannot organize any visits. Those are typically the areas where a recruiting coordinator has the most impact. If I had to wager, Brown was presented the opportunity with Notre Dame a while back, but elected to wait until the dead period to officially leave. It’s a more respectful way to leave a coaching staff.
Expect a replacement hire to be made before August arrives. The next couple of weeks might be slow, but recruiting is a never-ending marathon.