Tennessee coach Derek Dooley is looking to fill three vacancies on his coaching staff, and is scheduled to talk with Alabama assistant head coach and linebackers coach Sal Sunseri on Wednesday about the Vols’ defensive coordinator’s job.
It may be difficult for Dooley to pry Sunseri away from Alabama, especially with Sunseri’s son, Vinnie, heading into his sophomore season at Alabama and expected to play an even larger role at linebacker next season for the Crimson Tide.
Also, Sunseri would be a prime candidate for the Alabama defensive coordinator’s job when Kirby Smart leaves. It’s a given that Smart is going to get a head coaching job, probably sooner rather than later. He’s simply waiting for the right opportunity to come along.
Either way, Sunseri is an excellent coach and a very good recruiter, too. It makes sense Dooley would target him.
TCU's Dick Bumpas, Michigan State's Pat Narduzzi and Navy’s Buddy Green are three others Dooley has targeted for the defensive coordinator job, while San Diego Chargers assistant coach Rich Bisaccia is Dooley’s top choice as special teams coordinator.
The Vols also have a linebackers job to fill on defense, and there have been some rumblings that they could have another job open up on offense. Offensive line coach Harry Hiestand is in play at Notre Dame to join Brian Kelly’s staff.
Dooley has already hired Jay Graham away from South Carolina to be the Vols’ running backs coach.