Terry Joseph may leave Vols

KNOXVILLE -- Nearly a month after the dust appeared to settle on the overhaul of his coaching staff, Tennessee football coach Derek Dooley soon could be dealing with another vacancy.

A source inside the Volunteers' football program confirmed multiple reports Thursday that Terry Joseph, UT's safeties coach and recruiting coordinator, has received an offer to join Nebraska's staff. The source told the Times Free Press that no decision had been made, though it could come as soon as today.

If Joseph were to join the Cornhuskers' staff, he'd be the seventh Dooley assistant to leave since the end of last season.

Dooley tabbed Derrick Ansley as the Vols' cornerbacks coach the day after signing day last month, which changed Joseph's responsibilities from the entire secondary to just the safeties.

"D.A., who's been in the system for a while, is going to be tremendous help for us," Joseph said last month. "Obviously with the vocabulary and terminology that we've got to get the guys to learn, but also the adjustments that we'll make defensively now will come mostly from the back-end guys. Having some specialization between corners and safeties is going to help us out."

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini lost his defensive backs coach Tuesday when Corey Raymond left for the same position at LSU. The Tigers lost secondary coach Ron Cooper to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' staff last week.

After a four-year minor league baseball stint and six years as a high school football coach in the New Orleans area, Joseph worked alongside Pelini as a graduate assistant at LSU in 2006. He joined Dooley's staff at Louisiana Tech after one season with the Tigers and followed Dooley to UT in 2010.

Joseph, offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and quarterbacks-turned-receivers coach Darin Hinshaw are the lone holdovers from the staff that coached the Vols in 2011.

After making $225,000 in 2011, Joseph was set to make $250,000 this year, though the 38-year-old would not owe UT anything if he left. He's been a valuable recruiter for the Vols, who signed Rivals.com's ninth- and 13th-rated classes in 2010 and 2011. Despite the coaching turnover, the Vols signed the site's No. 17 class, and Joseph was named one of the nation's top recruiters by 247Sports.