Nov 10, 2012; Knoxville, TN, USA; A general view of the Tennessee Volunteers logo on the field prior to the game against the Missouri Tigers at Neyland Stadium. Missouri defeated Tennessee 51-48 in quadruple overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

RB coach Jay Graham Leaves Tennessee For Florida State

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What was supposed to be a quiet Monday morning in the world of Tennessee athletics turned out not to be quiet at all. Rumors started swirling around Twitter that running back coach Jay Graham was leaving Tennessee for Florida State.  The rumors were soon confirmed by head coach Butch Jones, via Twitter.

 

Volquest reported on Monday morning that Graham was leaving for Florida State for a higher salary and more responsibilities. Graham was the one of the lowest paid members on Butch Jones’ staff, making $260,000 annually.  Graham had also been passed over for the recruiting coordinator position, a title that went to new wide receivers coach, Zach Azzani.

The move came as a shock to Volunteer fans. Graham was highly touted as an excellent recruiter and considered integral in Tennessee closing the deal with wide receiver Marquez North.  Tennessee’s running backs also saw great improvements in their one season under Graham.

Coach Jones will now shift his focus to finding a replacement for Graham. Des Kitchings, current NC State running back coach, was a name immediately mentioned by several media outlets. Kitchings is a former Air Force and Vanderbilt assistant, and similarly to Graham with Tennessee, was retained on NC State’s staff by new coach Dave Doeren.

Another name that was mentioned instantly is former Volunteer assistant Trooper Taylor. Taylor served as RB/WR coach from 2004-2007 under Phillip Fulmer. Taylor was previously the wide receiver coach at Auburn from 2009-2012, but was not retained by new coach Gus Malzhan. Taylor has a stigma of being a “dirty recruiter”, but nothing has ever been pinned on him. Taylor is an excellent recruiter and coach, and may be the only person that would be considered an upgrade over Graham. Taylor doesn’t seem like a guy that Butch Jones would hire, but at this point he may not have a choice.

We’ll have more on potential replacements as developments happen.  Make sure to follow us on Twitter for updates @allfortennessee

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Tags: Florida State Seminoles Football Tennessee Volunteers

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