The staff is again complete, and now the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football program can begin final preparations for the start of spring practice.
The Mocs announced Monday the hiring of Chris Malone as their new offensive line coach, pending university approval. Malone coached at Virginia State last season and at James Madison University for seven years before that. At JMU he also worked as run game coordinator and worked with current UTC offensive coordinator Jeff Durden.
"We had several great candidates and could've hired any of those and felt good," Mocs coach Russ Huesman said. "But Chris is familiar with the offense we run, and our players felt really comfortable with him after they met him.
"Now we can focus completely on getting ready for spring practice next week."
UTC is on spring break this week and will begin spring football drills next Monday afternoon.
A native of Emporia, Va., Malone helped JMU average 38.1 points and 401.4 yards, including 282.8 rushing per game. In 2007, his line also allowed the fewest sacks in the nation.
He has also coached at VMI and Massachusetts and began his coaching career at his alma mater, Virginia Tech, where he was a four-year starter at offensive guard and earned All-Big East honors.
"I'm looking forward to getting out there and seeing what we've got on the field," Malone said. "I've known Coach Huesman for a while and obviously worked with Coach Durden before, so we have a lot of similarities in how the offensive system should work. I think it will be a great fit.
"I've got high expectations myself, so I'm really happy about joining a program that expects to win big."
Contact Stephen Hargis at email@example.com or 423-757-6293.
Stephen has covered local sports in the tri-state area for more than 24 years, having been with the Times Free Press since its inception, and has been an assistant sports editor since 2005. Stephen is among the most decorated writers in the TFP’s newsroom, winning numerous state, regional and national writing awards, including seven in 2013 and a combined 12 in the last two years. He was named one of the top 10 sports writers ...