KNOXVILLE - Tennessee appears close to having just one vacancy left to fill on its football coaching staff.
A source inside the Volunteers' program confirmed to the Times Free Press on Thursday afternoon that former NFL and North Carolina assistant Charlie Coiner is in line to be UT's special teams coordinator. The school has yet to officially confirm the hire, but Coiner would replace Eric Russell, who left UT last month and was officially named special teams coordinator and assistant head coach at Washington State.
Coiner has more than one connection to two of the Vols' coach Derek Dooley's most recent hires. He most recently coached defensive line in 2010 at North Carolina, where new UT offensive line coach Sam Pittman was an assistant for five seasons (2007-11). Coiner also spent three seasons (1995-97) as the tight ends coach at Louisville alongside new UT defensive coordinator Sal Sunseri, who was the Cardinals' linebackers coach. Coiner spent three seasons at Austin Peay, including one season under new UT defensive line coach John Palermo in 1990.
Following his time at Louisville, Coiner coached linebackers at UT Chattanooga and special teams at LSU for one season each. He was the offensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and special teams coach at Texas Southern in 2000 before joining the Chicago Bears' staff as the offensive quality control coach for four seasons.
He spent four years with the Buffalo Bills as the special teams coach before he was hired at North Carolina. Coiner spent three years under Gerry DiNardo at Vanderbilt (1991-93).
More online and in Friday's Times Free Press.
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 ...