KNOXVILLE -- Kippy Brown is back on the University of Tennessee football coaching staff.

The Knoxville-area native with two previous stints at UT and years of NFL experience was officially hired Thursday as the Volunteers' wide receivers coach and passing game coordinator.

Brown, an assistant under former Volunteers coaches Johnny Majors and Phillip Fulmer, will start work today for Lane Kiffin and join preparations for the Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl against Virginia Tech.

"This is a great day for Tennessee football," Kiffin said in a statement released Thursday night. "When hiring assistant coaches, you sometimes feel like you hit a home run. By bringing Kippy back to the Tennessee family, I feel like we hit a grand slam."

Kiffin said he's known Brown since 1990. Brown didn't work this season after leaving his role as the Detroit Lions' assistant head coach and passing game coordinator in 2008. Brown has spent 13 seasons in college football, 13 seasons in the NFL and was head coach of now-defunct XFL's Memphis Maniax in 2001.

He has plenty of family in the area, and he nearly rejoined Fulmer's staff two years ago before getting a large raise from the Lions.

"I never imagined being able to add (Brown) to our staff, but we always start our searches at the top," Kiffin said. "Not only is he one of the best wide receiver coaches in the college or NFL ranks, he has a great connection to the Tennessee family and was an unbelievable recruiter in his two previous coaching stints here."

Six of UT's nine current coaches came to the Vols from the NFL.

Kiffin still has to replace running backs coach and special teams overseer Eddie Gran, who left the program earlier this month to be Florida State's associate head coach.

Attempts to contact Brown on Thursday weren't immediately successful, but UT officials said he will be available for interviews this afternoon.

Former Vols and NFL receiver Alvin Harper, who played for Brown, also was quoted in UT's release.

"Kippy will be a great asset to the team," Harper's statement said. "He has a lot of ties in Tennessee, and he's a great coach. He was like a father to me. He showed me a lot and helped me grow as a man.

"I learned more at UT than I learned in the pros, and a lot of that is because of Kippy and the invaluable experience he brings."

Vinson dismissed

Junior Brent Vinson's tumultuous career with UT has ended, Kiffin said Thursday. The cornerback came to Knoxville as a highly touted athlete and started most of his true freshman season, but he had several discipline and academic issues and hardly played this season.

"Brent Vinson is no longer with the team. We wish him the best of luck," Kiffin said Thursday without adding specifics.

Other contacts for Wes Rucker are and