Tennessee Vols morning report: New strength coach, Brent Cimaglia interview

A new Tennessee Vols strength coach leads our June 16, 2020 Volunteers news.

After nearly a month, the Tennessee Vols football team picked up another elite commitment on Monday to continue building up its No. 2 ranked 2021 recruiting class. And that didn’t even become the biggest news of the day.

Beyond recruiting, our morning update on Rocky Top leads with another staff move in the football program. This one was anticipated, but amidst the coronavirus outbreak, it was still a big deal to get done right now.

We also have another episode of “The Slice” podcast to cover and another guest on there to discuss. Finally, an interview with an arriving Tennessee basketball freshman and candidates for a major SEC award are on the table. Let’s start with the staff move, though.

A.J. Artis named new strength coachAustin Price, Volquest.com

Nearly three months after Craig Fitzgerald departed for the New York Giants, Jeremy Pruitt has found his replacement. The Tennessee Vols football program has named A.J. Artis as the program’s new strength coach. His official title is director of football sports performance, and he has been effectively running the program ever since Fitzgerald’s departure anyway.

Artis has been on Fitzgerald’s staff at Tennessee since 2018. Prior to his arrival in Knoxville, Artis spent two years at Duke in the as an assistant in the sports performance program.

Brent Cimaglia featured on ‘The Slice’UTSports

Rising senior place kicker Brent Cimaglia was featured on this week’s episode of the Tennessee football flagship podcast, “The Slice.” Cimaglia discussed numerous topics, including the fact that he was told he’d never be a kicker. He enters this year with high expectations after hitting 23 of 27 attempts in 2019, including a 53-yarder.

“I’m going to try and be a role model for the younger kids coming in and even for the upperclassmen that are in the group,” Cimaglia said. “I want to lead by example. I don’t want to be one of those verbal leaders that is just sitting there yelling. I want to lead by example even of that’s on the field or off the field.”

Corey Walker discusses role in basketball program – Grant Ramey, GoVols247

As the Tennessee Vols men’s basketball team begins arriving on campus, four-star freshman forward Corey Walker will be working to figure out how he fits in with Rick Barnes’ new team. Walker does not have the same hype as five-stars Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer, but at 6’7″, he discussed his willingness to do anything.

Walker doesn’t sound scared of the hype or shy of the challenge ahead.

“I can do pretty much anything they ask me,” he said of what he brings to the Vols. “If they want me to rebound, I rebound. If they want me to play defense, I can do that too. They want me to score, bring the ball up the court, I can do pretty much anything they ask.”

Erika Brown, Carey McLeod up for Kramer Athlete of the Year – SECSports.com

Swimming and Diving senior Erika Brown and Track and Field sophomore Carey McLeod represented the Tennessee Vols as women’s and men’s nominees for the 2019-2020 Roy F. Kramer Athletes of the Year Award respectively. The winners will be announced June 17.

The SEC Athletes of the Year Awards were first presented in 1976 for men and 1984 for women. The award was renamed the Roy F. Kramer Athletes of the Year in 2004 to honor the former Commissioner who served the conference from 1990-2002.