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Wednesday, December 3, 2008
After long run at Tennessee, Chavis to talk with Clemson

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

John Chavis has been one of the SEC's best defensive coordinators for a long time.

So it's no surprise that his phone is starting to ring.

Chavis, who headed up Tennessee's defense for the past 14 years under Phillip Fulmer, will interview for the Clemson defensive coordinator's job on Thursday. New Clemson coach Dabo Swinney is looking for somebody to take over the Tigers' defense after parting ways with Vic Koenning.

Chavis, who's from Dillon, S.C., is likely to be in play at several places. He had multiple opportunities during his time at Tennessee to leave for NFL assistant jobs, but always elected to stay. Former South Carolina coach Lou Holtz also wooed Chavis earlier this decade, but Chavis remained loyal to Fulmer.

New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin didn't retain Chavis because he plans to bring his father, Monte Kiffin, to Knoxville as his defensive coordinator. But Chavis might have done one of his better coaching jobs this season. His unit finished the regular season ranked fourth nationally in total defense, just one spot below Alabama in the SEC.

That's despite being on the field most of the season thanks to an offense that couldn't move the ball and couldn't score points. The Vols (5-7) held seven of their 12 opponents to 14 or fewer points.