KNOXVILLE - Jay Graham is returning to Tennessee.
The former Volunteers' running back is joining Derek Dooley's coaching staff after three seasons coaching running backs at South Carolina, the school announced in a release. Graham, who ran for 2,609 yards in his UT career (1993-96), will take the staff position vacated by Charlie Baggett.
"Jay is not only one of the most accomplished running backs in Tennessee history, but he has also proven to be one of the top running backs coaches in the SEC,” Dooley said in the release. “Jay understands what it means to be a Vol, and we are thrilled to have him on our staff.”
Baggett coached receivers for two years after a long career in college and the NFL. The Times Free Press and other media outlets in Knoxville reported last week that Baggett had chosen to retire, but the release from UT gave no reason.
"I appreciate Charlie’s contributions to the Tennessee football program during the last 22 months,” Dooley said. “Charlie has made an incredibly positive impact toward our efforts to build a strong foundation for future success. He has had an excellent career as a coach, and I am grateful for his efforts during his time at Tennessee.”
Graham spent six seasons in the NFL after his career with the Vols. He had 100 rushing or more in 11 games in 1995, including a school-record streak of nine games breaking that mark. He had developed into an esteemed running backs coach and recruiter during his time with the SEC East rival Gamecocks.
“I am thankful to Coach Dooley for giving me the opportunity to return to Tennessee,” Graham said. “Tennessee is a program with great football tradition and fan support, and I am honored to join the coaching staff for the Vols.”
Darin Hinshaw, who coached the Vols' quarterbacks the last two seasons, is expected to coach receivers, but that move has not been confirmed by UT. Hinshaw coached receivers at Memphis before Dooley hired onto his first staff at UT.
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 ...