published Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Coach Charlie Baggett retiring from UT

KNOXVILLE -- Changes to Tennessee's football coaching staff were expected.

They started at an unexpected position Thursday.

Esteemed receivers coach Charlie Baggett is "retiring" and will not return to the Volunteers next season, two sources inside the football program told the Times Free Press on Thursday.

Though multiple print and Internet outlets in Knoxville reported Baggett's decision to step down, UT has yet to confirm it. School officials did not return a call from the Times Free Press.

"No coach like cb ... ima miss my dawg," sophomore receiver Da'Rick Rogers from Calhoun, Ga., wrote on his Twitter account Thursday afternoon.

Most of the Vols' assistants have been on the road this week visiting commitments and prospects after the season-ending loss to Kentucky last week. NCAA rules prohibit an entire staff to be on the road at the same time, and Baggett has been in Knoxville all week.

Baggett, who turns 59 in January and also held the title of assistant head coach, was tied with defensive line coach Lance Thompson for the fourth-highest salary on coach Derek Dooley's staff. UT gave Baggett a $25,000 raise to $400,000 for his second year with the Vols. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox ($700,000), offensive coordinator Jim Chaney ($525,000) and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand ($475,000) have higher salaries.

An 11-year NFL coaching veteran, Baggett coached for the Oilers, Packers and Vikings before joining current Alabama coach Nick Saban's staff with the Miami Dolphins for two years in 2005. Dooley also was on that staff and hired Baggett from the St. Louis Rams when he took the UT job last January.

Baggett previously held collegiate coaching positions at Bowling Green, Minnesota and Washington with two stints at Michigan State, his alma mater.

"What can I say about this day?" wrote freshman DeAnthony Arnett, a Michigan native for whom Baggett was the primary recruiter.

Rogers caught 67 passes for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns this season under Baggett's tutelage. Justin Hunter, Baggett's other sophomore protege, was on his way to a big season when he tore ligaments in his left knee early in the loss at Florida in the season's third game. Though he played just two full games, Hunter was third on the team and second among receivers in receiving yards.

"Just caught that bad news," Hunter wrote on his Twitter account Thursday. "Ain't no replacing CB."

The list of receivers Baggett has coached during his more than 30-year coaching career is impressive. It includes Randy Moss and Cris Carter with the Vikings, Antonio Freeman and Bill Schroeder with Green Bray, Haywood Jeffries and Webster Slaughter in Houston and Chris Chambers in Miami.

Baggett coached future professional receivers Andre Rison, Plaxico Burress, Muhsin Muhammad and Derrick Mason in 14 seasons at Michigan State.

Former Vol Denarius Moore was drafted in April after he had nearly as many yards (981) as a senior under Baggett in 2010 as in his previous three seasons (1,023). Moore has 24 catches for 410 yards and four touchdowns as an NFL rookie with the Oakland Raiders.

Baggett also was a valuable recruiter for the Vols, who have three receivers currently committed for the class that will sign in February: Georgians Jason Croom and Keithon Redding plus Drae Bowles of Jackson, Tenn. UT was also a finalist for Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College's Cordarrelle Patterson, a 6-foot-4 receiver who's the nation's top-rated junior college prospect according to Rivals.com.

"No matter what, I'm all Vol," Redding wrote on his Twitter account. Other commitments wrote similar messages of support and loyalty Thursday.

Dooley simply shuffled his staff when defensive line coach Chuck Smith was not retained last offseason, but how he'll handle replacing Baggett remains to be seen after a 5-7 season.

"I think it starts with an individual commitment to the team and to the program, and then learning how to work together and be a part of a team," Dooley said after the loss at Kentucky. "It starts with our coaching staff, building trust with each other. We've just got to go to work. That's all we can do."

about Patrick Brown...

Patrick Brown has been the University of Tennessee beat writer since January 2011. A native of Memphis, Brown graduated from UT in May of 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Electronic Media and worked at the Knoxville News Sentinel for two years on the sports editorial staff and as a freelance contributor. If it’s the NBA, the NFL or SEC football and basketball, he’s probably reading about it or watching it on TV. Contact him ...

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Livn4life said...

Sorry to see this man go though some on the staff need to go. We will see how this shakes out. I hope we get another good receivers coach and this move does not harm recruiting.

December 2, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.
chet123 said...

Hmmmmmmm let me see...Hmmmmmmm...let me see....how about giving "TEE MARTIN" a CHANCE FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!!

December 2, 2011 at 11:08 a.m.
Salsa said...

From what I've been reading, Tee Martin has already been offered.

December 2, 2011 at 11:39 a.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Charlie Baggett can coach circles around Tee Martin. Tee is one of my favorite Vols, but this is a step down in terms of coaching ability. Tee has maybe 3 years experience coaching WR's. Baggett's resume speaks for itself. Big dropoff if we go from Baggett to Tee.

December 2, 2011 at 12:56 p.m.
chet123 said...

EXCUSES EXCUSES EXCUSES! WHAT A BROTHER GOT TO DO TO GET A BREAK??

"FOR PETE SAKES"...THIS MAN WON THE NATIONAL TITLE FOR TENNESSEE!(NOT FAT PHIL)

SO CHARLIE BAGGETT CAN COACH CIRCLE AROUND TEE MARTIN...HA HA HA HA...WHAT THE HELL HAPPEN AGAINST KENTUCKY..SOMEBODY DIDNT TELL CHARLIE BAGGETT HE CAN COACH CIRCLE AROUND TEE MARTIN..HA HA HA

THIS THE ATTITUDE OF TENNESSEE VOLS FANS.....THIS CLOWN HAVE COACH THE WORSE TEAM IN OVER A 100 YRS(WHAT YOU GOT TO LOOSE)...AND CHATTANOOGAVOLS HAVE THE BALLS TO SAY HE CAN COACH CIRCLE AROUND TEE MARTIN HA HA HA ....SOME THINGS NEVER CHANGES....NEXT YEAR WILL BE 3 AND 8 SEASON...AND THE VOLS FANS WILL BE "DELUSIONAL" AGAIN....THINKING THEY HAVE GREAT COACHES HA HA HA....TRY RECRUITING THE 5 AND 4 STARS ATHELICS AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS

THE WORD IS OUT!!!!TENNESSEE HAVE A GOOD OLE BOY SYSTEM.....

December 2, 2011 at 4:12 p.m.
Salsa said...

If Martin does decide to come he may be the QB coach anyway. He's certainly well qualified for that.

December 2, 2011 at 4:50 p.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

Chet - Again, I urge you to look at Charlie Baggett's resume. He's a top notch coach. No doubt about it.

December 2, 2011 at 4:55 p.m.
chet123 said...

yeah yeah yeahhhhhh....some top notch team....let kentucky beat tennessee...the worse tennessee team in 110 years..maybe he's going down hill.....maybe he was.....

THANK SALSA..I NEED SOMEONE TO RESTORE MY FAITH IN TENNESSEE...MAYBE TEE CAN HELP IN RECRUITING TOO

December 3, 2011 at 7:47 p.m.
BigD2250 said...

Charlie Baggett has coached, among others, Randy Moss and Chris Carter, two of the best WR's to every step foot on the gridiron. It takes more than simply a WR coach to lose a football game, Chet. Oh, and by the way, before Hunter was lost to a torn acl, UT had the best WR duo in its history this year. You clearly do not know what you are talking about, once again. It is actually beyond laughable that you would prefer Tee Martin over Charlie Baggett as the WR coach.

December 21, 2011 at 3:56 p.m.
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