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According to CBS Sports, Tennessee Vols assistants could soon become head coaches

One of the biggest problems that plagued Jeremy Pruitt as head coach of Tennessee Vols was the lack of staff continuity.

Pruitt was constantly changing coaches on both sides of the ball. Tennessee players have experienced numerous position coaches and coordinators during their three years in Knoxville. This wasn’t the secret to success, but one of the reasons why UT was often confused and seemed different in the days of Pruitt.

Fortunately for Vols, staff continuity wasn’t an issue during the first 16 months of Josh Heupel’s tenure.

Hupel has only had to replace one assistant coach so far. Wide receiver coach Kodi Burns got a job at New Orleans Saints early this offseason (Kelsey Pope was promoted to wide receiver coach after Burns left).

Tennessee players know that the message will be the same in 2022. They know what to expect from coaching staff. You never “know” a new position coach. Staff continuity is a small thing that doesn’t create headlines, but it’s very important to the success of the program.

Of course, Hupel needs to replace his assistant in the future. Promotions and better jobs always come. And it’s important to remember that most of Hupel’s assistants may have a desire to become a head coach someday.

CBS Sports believes that one of Hupel’s assistants is closer to being a head coach than the other. They recently nominated several Power-5 coordinators who could soon become head coaches and included Tim Banks, Vols’ defensive coordinator, on the list.

Tim Banks, Tennessee Football Defensive Coordinator, answered questions at Media Day in Knoxville, Tennessee on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.
Kns Tennessee Football Media Day

From CBS Sports:

As a defensive coordinator for the Tennessee team, he prioritizes high-scoring attack systems at high altitudes and often produces short belongings. Banks may not defend statistically superior defensive units. But last season, he did an impressive job of making volunteers defensively competent during the coaching transition that left the program defensively talented. Coordinator or Coordinator at Pennsylvania State University, Illinois, Cincinnati, and Central Michigan, Banks is a traveling assistant who can get the look of a head coach if the unit’s promises in 2021 can be fulfilled.

Finding a defense coordinator in Tennessee was not easy for Hupel in early 2021. Vols repeatedly asked “no” before landing at the bank. This is because Hupel’s up-tempo attacks put a lot of pressure on Vols’ defense. A quick three-out can bring defense back to the field in less than 30 seconds of the game clock. This is a unique challenge that not everyone accepts.

But if banks can turn their Tennessee defensive coordinator job into a head coach job, Vols’ defensive coordinator job can be a little more attractive.

Hupel will have to hire a new defensive coordinator someday, but he’s confident that Banks wants to wait for the right opportunity and not jump to the first job that comes his way.

Featured images by Calvin Mattheis / News Sentinel / USATODAY NETWORK